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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 20, 2013 8:00pm-1:01am EDT

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, an examination of what drives employment in the u.s. washington journal is live every morning >> coming up on c-span tonight, sawyer and cantor on the farm bill. hello c reacts. house minority leader reacts. in the house thursday, members rejected be $940 billion farm bill. democrats opposed cuts to the food stamp program and the 62
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republicans who voted against the bill object defending the measure. we spoke to a capitol hill reporter about what happened. >> the farm bill -- why was it defeated? >> there are basically two reasons. that is there was a dairy amendment that was not ok with democrats, and that dairy amendment passed. also there were restrictions placed on food stamps and democrats did not like that, and there were a lot of republicans who thought they could somehow have a bill that would cut food stamps even more. >> eric cantor blamed democrats for not providing enough votes to help pass the bill. what do you think about his assertion? >> there were only 24 democrats who voted for the bill. i think it is a reflection of
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the deep gulf in the country between the people who get food stamps and the politicians who support them and the farmers who benefit from the farm program. since the 2010 election, you have had such a gap between these republicans and democrats. it is basically about that. >> how have democrats responded to what majority leader cantor said? >> they said they should not have put on this last amendment that would impose work requirements on food stamp beneficiaries, that there have never been such core requirements for it, and that was the straw that broke the camels back. also, there was an amendment on dairy that passed and the dairy farmers do not like it. >> who were the big losers? >> the people who are advocates for people eating more fruits
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and vegetables, for local production, for organic, because it is those programs that will least likely be continued. i think the food stamp program will be continued if there is an extension. so will the crop insurance program. but the big agriculture will be continued, but not the stuff for the newer, more innovative small and local programs. >> what is the next step for the bill? can it be revamped and passed? and the timetable? >> it can be brought up again, possibly changed. most thought it would get through when it got through conference. people were too angry, but also there were these 62 republicans who voted against the bill even though they got a lot of amendments on that that they liked. and a lot of provisions, and they will also have to reevaluate their views on the bill.
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>> what will you watch for as the leaders decide what to do next? >> whether they will bring the bill up and if and also over the fourth of july break, whether there are people who want this bill passed so much that they put pressure on members when they go home and they make some concessions and bring it up again after the fourth of july recess. >> jerry hagstrom is the contributing editor at "national journal." >> eric cantor came to the floor to discuss the schedule this week. minority representative hoyer responded to the remarks. this exchange is 25 minutes.
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>> mr. speaker, no votes are expected. the votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on wednesday and thursday, the housel meet at 10 a.m. morning our -- hour./ the last vote is expected no later than 3 p.m. the house will consider bills on the suspension of rules, a complete list of which will be enclosed. the house will take up and have two bills on the resource committee. the offshore energy and jobs at and hr by the chairman, 1613, the continental shelf transboundary authorization act sponsored by representative jeff duncan of south carolina. the bill continue our efforts to environmentfoster
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and economic growth and lower energy costs for working families. finally, i anticipate bringing to the floor the agricultural appropriations bill. i yield back. >> i think the gentleman for his comments. i would ask him a couple of questions not on the announcement. gentleman spoke last week about student loans. is on theon those calendar for next week, if i am correct. knowinggentleman tommy, as we know, the student loan rates will double in july from ..4% to 6.8% can the gentleman tell me whether there is any thought
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that there will be some action taken by us prior to the july 4 break? i yield. >> the gentleman knows the house has acted. the position of the house is one very close to where the present public position on student loans has been. we do not want to see student loan rates double. we also want long-term solution to the problem on the fiscal and, while helping students. while the gentleman witnesses what just happened on the floor, it seems on bills where there are solutions and bipartisan indications of support, there seems to be a decision about his leadership, perhaps himself, to say, we will not go along with bipartisan work and success and just make this a
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partisan issue. i am fearful the same is on the student loans. i hope that is not the case. i know the gentleman shares with me a desire not to allow students to be put in a position to phase a doubling of interest rates if they decide to incur additional student loans. i would say to the gentleman, his question. we would stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion. the senate does not seem to be able to produce anything. the house produces something very close to what the president's position is to make student rates variable to allow for the rates to be cap so the exposure is not what it would be otherwise. unfortunately, no movement yet. we stand ready to work, though. i yield back. >> i think the german for his comments. going to mention what happened on the floor today but the gentleman brought it up. the gentleman is correct.
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the committee passed a bipartisan bill. the democrats voted for the bill. problem is that 62 republicans voted against the , as it was amended, notwithstanding the fact they voted for the last amendment that was adopted, which we think was an amendment that would have heard the citizens in our country very badly. we turned a bipartisan bill into a partisan bill. i will tell my friend very frankly, you did the same thing, your side of the aisle, did the same thing with respect to the homeland security bill, which was reported out on a voice vote from the appropriations committee, that we would have voted for on a bipartisan basis, except an amendment was adopted knowing our side could not vote for that.
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i will tell you i was not going to bring up what happened today, but you turned a bipartisan bill necessary for our farmers, necessary or our consumers, necessary for the people of america that many of us would have supported and you turned it into a partisan bill. very frankly, 58 of the 62 republicans voted against your bill voted for the last amendment, which made the bill even more egregious. we disagreed with a $20 billion cut, and your side upped the ante. i will tell you, we are prepared to work in a bipartisan fashion, and with respect the student loan bill, it was close to the president's bill, and we would have supported it had it been closer to the president's bill.
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what your bill did it puts those taking out student loans at risk of having their interest rates substantially increased in the future. the president suggested let's get a variable rate which reflects market rates, but when you take out the loan, just like you did with your house loan, you know what your interest rate will be. we have a difference on that. it is a good-faith disagreement on that. we will say that, yes, i have been concerned about the inability to take a bill reported out of committee that is bipartisan in a nature and turned it into a partisan bill. that is what happened on the floor today. it was unfortunate for farmers, consumers, for our country. if the gentleman wants to pursue that, i will yield to him. >> allow me to respond. the amendment to which the gentleman speaks is an amendment that had been discussed for some time with the ranking member, with the chairman, and the gentleman was aware of the amendment. the amendment reflects what many of us believe is a successful formula to apply to a program
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that has, in the eyes of the gao, in the eyes of the independent auditors who look at these programs, a program that is in dire need of improvement, because of the error rates that are occurring. in addition to that, it reflects our strong belief that work, that able-bodied people should have the opportunity and should go in and be a productive citizen. that is what this amendment says. it gives states an option. it was a positive project because it reflects a winning formula to the welfare reform program, back in 1996, that was put into place, with unequivocal success.
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able-bodied people going back to work. there was still an intention for our side to say we want to take away the safety net of the food stamp program. absolutely not. this is a pilot project. it was up to the states, whether they wanted to participate, to see if they could get more people back to work. again, consistent with what the gao report had said over and over again, these programs are in need of reform. it was not as if this commitment came out of thin air. the gentleman, the ranking member, the entire leadership on
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the minority side to the amendment was there. the gentleman is talking about regular order, talking about the need for us to have open process, let the will of the house work and be worked and then go to conference. that is what the goal was, that the will of the house allowed to be seen through, work its will, and go to conference and then we would try and participate in a robust discussion with the other side of the capitol to see if we can see reform measures on a bill that is in conference ready. what we saw today was a democratic leadership in the
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house that was insistent to undo years and years of bipartisan work on an issue like a farm bill and decide to make it a partisan issue. and, mr. speaker, it is unfortunate that that is the case, i do agree with the gentleman, but i hope we can see our way to working on other issues, where there is potential agreement. today was an example. the other side did not think that was there goal, an appropriate mission, and instead decided to emphasize where perhaps they differed when we wanted to reform it in a certain area. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. we have a profound disagreement. when we were in the majority we got no help on your side, mr. leader. we remember that. there was no opportunity to have bipartisan dialogue, to have agreement. the gentleman talks first to regular order. the person who talks about regular order most is your
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speaker. you talk about regular order. pass a bill and when we have an agreement. some 90 days ago we passed a budget. at your insistence, the senate passed a budget. we have not gone to conference, you have not provided an opportunity to go to conference, you have not appointed conferees. that is regular order. the gentleman evidently wants it on one bill, but not all bills. i tell my friend we want regular order, we want to go to conference. you want to undo the breaking of an agreement we made in the budget control act which said there won't be a firewall
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between domestic and defense. you have eliminated that firewall. the sequester is in place. sequester is bad for this country. the fact is there's no legislation to undo that sequester, except the legislation you talked about passing in the last congress, is dead and buried. yes, we want regular order. the reason the bill lost today is because 62 of your members rejected mr. lucas' plea, which i thought was eloquent, in which he said i know some of you do not think there is enough reform in this bill and some of you think there is too much reform. but mr. peterson and i brought out a bill that was a bipartisan bill, supported by the majority of democrats and the majority -- maybe all the republicans, maybe i am not sure that -- but the fact of the matter is it was a bipartisan bill, just as homeland security bill was bipartisan, and it was turned
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into a partisan bill. that is exactly what mr. lucas was talking about. he was saying some people do not think we went far enough and some people think we went too far. mr. sutherland thought we had not gone far enough. and 58 republicans voted for sutherland that turned around and voted against the bill, the reforms you're talking about. do not blame democrats for the lost today. you did not bring up the farm bill when it was reported out on a bipartisan basis last year. you did not even bring it to the fore because your party cannot come together supporting their chairman's bill. that is where we find ourselves. i was not going to bring up that bill at all. what happened happened. frankly, when we lost on the floor, it was because we lost on the floor when we were in the majority. we produced 218 votes for everything we put on this floor. do not blame democrats for the
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failure to bring 218 republicans to your bipartisan lucas- supported and peterson-supported piece of legislation on the floor. we believe that loss, that partisanship in that bill, will hurt farmers and our country. let's bring that bill back to the floor and have a vote on it. i think it would pass. maybe not because of your votes, that has been your problem all along. do not thank democrats for the loss of that bill. do not blame democrats for being partisan. you knew those amendments -- yes, we knew about them, mr. leader, as you knew about them and you knew we were very much opposed to those amendments, notwithstanding the fact that all the leadership, i believe, i have not looked at the record, voted for those amendments just as they voted for the king amendment on homeland security. yes, you pushed my button. i would am not prepared to work in a bipartisan fashion when it said this is what we agree on, meaning your side, though you better take it if we are going
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to have an agreement. that is not how it works. it never worked that way in america. that is not what america is about. america is about us expecting to be working together. this reported will was on an overwhelming basis, would have been passed on a large bipartisan vote, and was precluded by the actions taken through these amendments on the floor, most of which we did not support. and you knew -- i do not mean you -- your party -- so i'm surprised when you talk to me about regular order and there is nothing, nothing to do on the budget conference that you wanted the senate to pass a budget. they did. you had just told me that you wanted regular order and that we should have passed the farm bill
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so we could work together. you are assuming that the senate would have gone to the conference. i hope they would have, i think they would have, because i talked to the chair. we also want to go to conference in regular order on the budget to solve the stark differences between the two parties. that is the only way you will get to where we need to be -- by having a conference and trying to come to an agreement. my premise is that you do not have a conference because there's nothing to which patty murray could agree that mr. ryan had agreed to and that he could bring back your caucus and get a majority of votes for, because they are for what you passed and nothing more than that. they are $91 billion apart. if we divide it in two, split the difference, you could not pass it on your side and i think you know that. i do not know if i have any more questions, and i do not know if they could be particularly useful. i yield to my friend.
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>> as far as the budget conference is concerned, the budget is something that traditionally, as he notes, has been a partisan affair. it is a document that each house produces reflecting the philosophy of the majority of those bodies. and the budget contains a lot of different issues, two of which the parties have disagreed vehemently on over the last several years, taxes and health care. we understand you, mr. speaker, that the other side projects our prescription on how to fix the deficit in terms of the unfunded liabilities on the health care programs. we said we want to work toward a balance, we think a balance budget is a good thing. unfortunately, the position on the other side of the capitol is no balance, no balance, and raise taxes.
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when you know that is a situation, there's no construct in which to even begin a discussion. again, the budget has traditionally been that, a partisan document whether who is in charge of which house. and then to be a guide by which you go about spending bills after that. the farm bill, my friend, is a little different. it is for working farmers, for individuals who need the benefit of the food stamp program. we believe you need to reform the snap program and reduce some of the costs because even the gao, independent auditors we bring in, year in and year out say that program is rife with error rates that we should be ashamed of. so we put forward our idea to the sutherland amendment to try to reform, put in place those
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reforms. but it still, in the construct of the farm bill, again to the gentleman's point, we want to work together, but it is going to have to be about setting aside differences, and instead of saying, as the minority leader did today, you disagreed with that program, we are out of here, and entire farm bill does not have a chance to go to conference, be reconciled, hopefully reforms adopted so we can make some progress according to what the independent analysts say should be done. it really is a disappointing day. i think the minority has been a disappointing player today, mr. speaker, on the part of the people. but we remain ready to work with the gentleman. i am hopeful that tomorrow, perhaps next week, will be a better week.
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>> i thank the gentleman for yielding back. mr. speaker, the majority leader continues to want to blame the democrats for his inability and the republicans inability to give a majority vote to their own bill. maybe the american people think they can be fooled. you are in charge of the house. you have 234 members. 62 of your members voted against your bill. that is why it failed. we did not whine when we were in charge about we did not pass a bill. we got 218 votes for our bill that was pretty tough. we got zero from your side. you got 24 from our side to help you. mr. peterson stuck to his deal. on the budget you say we have got different philosophies. yes, we do. mr. gingrich gave a speech on this floor about different philosophies, 1997 or 1998. he was talking about the perfectionist caucus.
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he made an agreement with president clinton which to some degree was responsible for having balanced budgets. but your side, it was not a good deal. all ofyour side.-- not your side. on a bipartisan vote, we passed that deal that was reached between mr. gingrich and mr. clinton. a lot of your folks said our way or the highway, and he gave a speech call the perfectionist caucus speech. that is what in my view i am hearing on the budget. the, we have differences. american people elected a democratic president, they elected a democratic senate, a republican house. the only way america's board of directors will work if we compromise. the place to compromise under regular order is in a conference our ideas and their ideas meeting and conference. the most central document that
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we need to do every year is to do a budget. but you are not going to conference. your side will not support conferees. your side will not move to go to conference. patty murray wants to go to conference, senator reid wants to go to conference. your side over in the senate will not go to conference, in my view, largely because they know you do not want to go to conference, and they do not want to make a deal. they do not want to compromise on what their position is. so we will take no blame for the failure of the farm bill, none, zero. as much as you try to say it, you cannot get away from the statistic, 62, otherwise known as 25% of your party, voted against a bill among which is why we do not bring it to the floor last year when it was also reported out on a bipartisan fashion. so i know you will continue and your side will continue to blame us, that you cannot get the
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votes on your side, for your bill. you took a bipartisan bill, and that is what mr. lucas was saying. i thought he was very articulate, compelling, and pleading with your side, join us, join us. it does not go as far as it would like, and reform -- you talk about reform and that is a good thing to talk about, the senate bill has reform in it, mr. leader. the senate bill has reform in it. now, it is not in terms of dollars, cutting poor people as much as this bill does, but it cuts. it has reform in it. what sutherland wants, what apparently your side wants, is your reform, not a compromise reform. mr. lucas brought to the floor $20 billion and watched it as reform him and said on the floor, it may not be enough for
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some and maybe too much for others, but it is a compromise. he was right. but it was rejected by 25% of your party, and that is why this bill failed. unless the gentleman wants to say something, i yield back the balance of my time. i yield back the balance of my time. >> minority leader pelosi also spoke about the failure of the farm bill to pass at an afternoon conference, noting 62 republican members voted against the bill. this is 25 minutes. >> thank you for being here. of course, i am always sensitive to time and the clock is ticking on this republican congress with little to show for it. 169 days since the start of the
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113th congress. 89 days -- tomorrow, 90 days, three months -- since the senate passed a budget bill. still, no bought -- no jobs bill and no budget agreement. today, democrats are taking the following action. under leadership, our ranking member on the budget committee, a petition was filed of calling on the speaker to appoint budget come pre-. next week, democrats will appoint them to go to the table and reach an agreement. we call upon the speaker to join us in that. this is a step long overdue. 90 days overdue by tomorrow. ranking member van hollen has long called upon an open and our priorities and solutions and proposed a
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budget that replaces the devastation of the sequester, promotes growth and creates jobs, investments in infrastructure and innovation, expands our economy and strengthens the middle class and responsibly reduces the deficit. cognizant van hollen has been our leader on budget issues and the -- always promoting a budget as a statement of our national values of fairness, and opportunity, while reducing the deficit. please yield to the distinguished gentleman. >> thank you, leader pelosi. leader pelosi and president obama have in calling for some time now for the house of representatives to get working on legislation that will help boost growth. the economy has been
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improving but we know it can improve much faster if congress would do its work. two percent economic growth. because of things congress has done, like the sequester, we are slowing down economic growth in the country. the congressional budget office says economic growth this year will be one third less because of the sequester. which is why we have proposed a budget. senate democrats and the president of the united states have proposed budget that would replace the sequester with mechanisms that have achieved the same amount of long-term deficit reduction without the drag on the economy, without having to lose 750,000 american jobs just this calendar year alone. we are also seeing another tax from the sequester. the school system at the military base. the kids ofrted
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our servicemen and women will miss five days of school this fall because the teachers of the school at that base will be furloughed. that is a disgrace. on the nondefense part of the budget, in places like the national institute of health, 700 very promising research proposals that will help find cures and treatments to diseases that plague every american family, will not be funded. these proposals have merit and they will not be funded because of the across-the-board cuts. you have very disruptive impacts in different parts of the economy. overall, we are seeing a big drag on the economy. that is why we have said we have got to remove the uncertainty and get on with passing a federal budget. as leader pelosi pointed out, the senate passed a budget 89 days ago.
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i think everybody in this or am are members for the last three been, republicans have asking for the senate to pass the budget. they have. refuses tor boehner take the next step, which is to go to a conference committee, even though the dutch it lost and they are supposed to have a complete action by the eighth. ins house is grossly violation of existing budget law, and even senator mccain said the republican position on this issue is insane and in comprehensible. .e is not alone other republicans have said the same thing. yesterday in the budget committee, during markup, the democrats once again asked that we go to conference. toproposed an amendment legislation to go to conference. we were denied an opportunity to vote on that. today, under the leadership of leader pelosi, we filed a
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discharge petition calling upon the speaker to immediately go to conference so we can complete action on a federal budget to deal with these issues with respect to the economy and jobs. within a short time, we filed at 9:00 today, and have 175 signatures. all of you follow these issues, no that is a huge amount of time. we are calling on our republican colleagues who have said they want to complete action on a budget to join us and put their signatures where their voices are. and making sure we go on to conference to get the job done. i will end with this. we heard for months, four years, this mantra of, no budget, no pay. that is what republicans said. are they in gross
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violation of the budget law, they are still getting paid. we just want to call upon them to do what they want to do. get a budget so we can work on these issues that are important to the economy and accelerating economic growth right now. there is no reason to wait another day. >> thank you very much. congratulation on your great .eadership day in and day out especially, congratulations today. 175 people to sign up on the discharge petition. what does that mean? that house democrats, 175, in a matter of a few hours, signed on to a conference to go to a table in a bipartisan way with a fair and open process. it is not a discharge position , aut any particular issue
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vote for bipartisanship for transparency, forgetting the results in getting the job done so we can get on with growth and reduce the deficit in a way that reflects the country's values, adjust as the needs for our future. ,t is a pretty remarkable thing 175. i know we will come back next week just in time for us to appoint and hope the speaker will join us. my view is that, from the beginning of this year, earlier on this year, and we have had this conversation before the senate passed the bill, republicans said -- sat in a room with the president and for leaders gathered with the vice president. they wanted regular order. that is the bill in the house and the senate. when the senate passed the bill three months from tomorrow [indiscernible]
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the american people want results. they want solutions. they want us to get on with making jobs. -- nots, this congress one jobs bill. instead, they come up with a frivolous legislation, a nuisance amendment, and they cannot even pass priority on the floor. we would be pleased to take any questions you may have. >> a statement saying you guys had promised to them 40 votes and you yourself are the reason the farm bill went down today. did you promise them that 40 votes and pullback? >> absolutely not. they lost 62 of their own members. i use the word results. that is what the american people expect. when i talk to volunteers in my day, and the course of my career, they always say to keep it professional, and do what you say you will do to the best
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of your ability and you have to take responsibility. what is happening on the floor today is a demonstration -- they did not get results and they put the blame on somebody else. just interesting, because you know i love numbers, and counting votes, 62 republicans voted no on the bill today. there is almost no way to offset that. it is also important to note 58 republicans voted for a killer amendment, a sutherland amendment, which made further cuts in food stamps. ,8 republicans voted for that who voted no on the bill. in other words, why would you put an amendment there that will
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lose democratic votes, that will make the bill worse, when the people, you lost 62 votes on final passage, 58 of them needed the sutherland bill to cut further, and they did not stick with the leadership. is that not remarkable? isn't that remarkable? what was the purpose of the bill? to throw the weight around of those who wanted to take more food out of the mouths of babies? and, the speakers dedication to the dairy processors and farmers, and they lost votes when they prevailed. they put two seeds of their own destruction in the bill. the sutherland bill did not get them any votes. it lost 58. and the dairy piece.
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it is always interesting to me when people blame other people .or their own failures if we ever came to you when we had the majority and said we did not pass the bill because we did not get enough republican votes, it is silly. it is sad. it is juvenile. it is unprofessional. it is amateur hour. anyone else on the subject of the budget? >> let me put it plainly. , speaker pelosi pelosi, this would never happen. speaker pelosi knew how to govern. she understood getting things done is the art of compromise. it is the art of bringing people together. the republican team would be trying to point fingers at others, when what you see is the latest inability and failure to govern. simple as that.
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the last time we passed a farm bill, it was under the leadership of speaker pelosi, who brought people together and made necessary compromises to get the job done. >> thank you for that. overcome and override two vetoes to pass the bill. it was not a simple majority, tooting the horn of the house democrats. i never had any conversation about the votes. they knew if they lost 40 or 50 votes, it was not good for them. i wantjust say on that, to go back to what i said originally. discharge position is to go to the table to compromise. , to respect other peoples views and do so in an open open way, and respect our values.
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that is the beauty of it. let's go to the table and have a discussion. are they afraid of their own ideas? perhaps. and they have reason to. they do not even bring their own members to the table behind them on their positions. is all about weaving a consensus, making compromises and the rest. when we had the majority, we passed the park -- the farm bill in a bipartisan way. it is hard. have to know what you are doing. yes, sir. >> speaking with farm bill, if i may. now it is somewhat unclear, would you favor some sort of extension of existing policy like last year, and what does this do in terms of the question for mr. van hollen, that the
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staff cuts the budget deal later in the year. negotiations,ose the farm bill can be done, [indiscernible] >> people have the revoke of the spot -- the response. we want to have a farm bill and go to the table to negotiate the farm bill with the senate bill that was passed a while back. .t was a vastly improved bill they need more than a majority. they need over six of any 60 votes to pass a bill there. do not right now, we need anything to extend nutrition and the rest, because that does not require the passage of this bill at this time. from that standpoint, the nutrition program snapped the supplemental nutrition programs will continue. we do want a farm bill because we want to have the specialty
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props, the vegetables, the initiatives, food banks, and the rest of that. cutting andust keep cutting and cutting a new -- a program and expect people to swallow that. you are taking food out of the mouths of maybe 2 million families. under the bill. sutherlandnder the amendment. i would hope we have another bite at the apple so there would be a place for the bill to pass the house going forward. we wouldot something hope would improve, but at least a rejection of the further cuts. instead, members insisted on a and 58 of those people voted no on the bill. how do you figure.
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>> there is a direct link between what happened today and the farm bill and the house republicans refusal to go to conference on the budget. both represent a failure to govern. ,hat is because in both cases they got extreme members of the caucus who refused to compromise. when it came to the farm bill, they insisted on cutting even further. benefits.nutrition when it comes to the budget, they also wanted dramatically to cut back on food and nutrition programs. they wanted to hit middle income taxpayers to protect tax rates for the very wealthy. that is what is preventing them from going to conference. they do not want to have the conversation in the light of day before the american public. with respect to provisions, yes, in the democratic budget and the budget presented by the
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president, we provide support for the programs. we believe that is important. we also believe we have the direct payments that go to a on where there is agreement the republican and democratic side, to those who have outlived their usefulness. we should press forward in the context of the government. >> [indiscernible] with republican house members, will they work to delay immigration reform? is there a chance immigration reform has been before the presidential council? >> i hope so. we are thinking weeks and months, not even into next year.
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very hopeful we can have bipartisan support for a comprehensive immigration reform bill. the seven members of the house, eight of them had been working together for a number of years. seven of them are going forward with a bipartisan proposal that is being written up into legislative language now. iti have said here before, has poison hills but it is -- they are not legal. recognizing we all have to compromise and we all go forward with that. how congress works from here, the house in particular, you have heard different things from the speaker, that this rule or that rule or whatever, we are just hopeful the product is one that can track the most votes in a bipartisan way. it is essential for us to pack the bill. hopefully, we will see what
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happens in the senate by the end of next week. , but myt for me understanding is they will probably finish the bill by the end of next week eared when we , right now, july we have the process going on in the house. the judiciary committee. .t is along partisan lines the there is still is bipartisan task force of seven proposal i think has tremendous merit and could be part of a package put together here. i think it will be long before the elections. pass something. the house will pass something. they will go to conference with a senate bill. i would be hopefully could happen in the month of july. i think the speaker said this year.
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about anmistic immigration bill passing. you had a question? >> back to the farm bill. if you want this to go to conference, why not rally before it along?ats and move >> we all want to but there is a certain responsibility to send the bill. conducive to getting votes, to put $20 billion. it is about $20.5 billion in cuts in the house bill. by comparison, the senate, bipartisan, democratic and republican, has $4.5 billion. is already $15 billion difference in the cut and what that means to america's families. in addition, the other amendments are harmful and make further cuts.
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if that is what they want, there are 58 people who wanted the 58 -- who wanted the cuts and voted against the bill. at some point, you are talking about dollars and cents and then you start talking about values. this was an assault on the values of the house democrats. having said that, there could be a path where we come back. there are enough members ready to support the bill that came out of committee, even though they did not like it, as long as it did not get worse on the floor. that was the responsibility of the majority. it is not the responsibility of us to say, discard what you believed and work for your whole life so republicans can use their votes to be more harmful to the american people. >> it was said today it was the
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fault of democrats. what is this? [indiscernible] to not take responsibility for what you are responsible for. >> this may get a little tiresome for all of you. doesn't it get tiresome when they do not take responsibility for the job we are sent here to do? what did he say we did not do now? >> [indiscernible] [laughter] that was the reason loan rates would double in a read -- in a week. are you frustrated? >> we just had a press conference, perhaps some of you were there. the zimmerman room, in between votes. we had students speak about what the difference in doubling the student loans would mean to
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them. the republican proposal, which makes matters even worse. may noterence of $1000 seem like much to some people around here, but it makes all the difference in the world as to whether these students can stay in college. as it, again, for clutch or years, and whatever they want to do as far as that isn't -- is concerned, it is a dealbreaker. some people do not have a place to go because they cannot consume that responsibility. it is very easy. all we have to do is support a bill that has, how many? 190 190? for have been working on it about a week now. the legislation, which would
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keep the student rate loans the same as it is now. we only have 11 days. until the student loans double. how often will we have to hear? take action here. ton you have some standing criticize what others have not done. and the action we need to take here is not to have a bill that will more than double the , insteadone -- loans of doubling to 6.8, or to go beyond that. we will be appointing people to go to the table to have transparency, bipartisanship, cooperation, a building of consensus on a budget that reflects our values, creates jobs, and reduces the deficit.
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.ou have to look at these names i just cannot get over this. 58 republicans voted for an amendment that would sink the then voted against the bill. as if they needed it in order to vote for it. it is a stunning thing. why would you give people an amendment that will kill your bill and then blame it on someone else? 58. theay, another day and unproductive life of a republican congress, where they ring bills to the floor that are going nowhere and blame other people for their lack of success. another day in the amateur hour of the republican congress. thank you. >> coming up, james lacey on
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the situation in afghanistan and syria. then, a look at president obama's recent trip to europe. later, an examination of what drives employment in the u.s. wohlford.woolford -- live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. senators corker and hoven introduced a an amendment to the immigration bill, requiring 20,000 additional border agents, including a 700 mile fast -- fans, and taking other steps before undocumented immigrants can get green cards. >> thank you. i rise today to discuss an amendment i will be introducing. the copperheads of immigration reform legislation the senate
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body is carefully considering and debating. i want to thank him for the tremendous work he has done on this legislation. he has been absolutely inspirational to work with, a great leader, and someone who is really working to do immigration reform the right way, to get a bipartisan solution that truly addresses the challenges we face with immigration reform, and to get it done the right way. in addition, other sponsors include senator john mccain, senator lindsey graham, senator , senator dean
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heller, and others that are joining us on this legislation. a number of them will be down here to provide their comments, as well. i believe the first order of this this is to secure the border. first order of business for immigration reform is to secure the border. americans want immigration reform. there is no doubt. but they want us to get it right. that means first and foremost securing the border. president reagan and the congress ran a legalized status between three and 4 million illegal immigrants. it was to once and for all immigration problem. obviously, it did not. here we are today with more than 11 million illegal immigrants
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in this country. here we are today with a border that has still not been secured. it illegal immigrants continue to come into our country because we have not secured the border. at the same time, our immigration laws do not meet the needs of a modern day workforce for workers and a specialty in high demand areas. one of the strengths of the underlying bill, the legislation drafted by the gang of eight on a bipartisan basis, along with amendments only added in committee, one of the strengths is that it includes provisions that will help us with our workforce needs. were adoptedons from legislation that myself and other senators sponsored, like legislation led by the esteemed senator from texas, senator john cornyn, which would allow increased numbers of college
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graduates people we need to help our economy. and to help create jobs. we also want people who can play -- create capital and opportunities to come to our country. the underlying bill has captured these concepts. the immigration legislation that i was proud to cosponsor is included in this bill. we are not done. we are not done. we must do more to store the border in this legislation. that is exactly what we are offering here today. it is a very straightforward way to secure our border, and to do so before allowing a pathway
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to legal permanent residency for those who came near you legally. furthermore, it will in sure that if we do not repeat the error we made before, failure to secure our border. it builds on what is already in the underlying bill, and provides objective verifiable standards to do so. our legislation will provide significantly more resources to secure the bar -- border. more technology. those resource must be fully deployed and operational before green card status is allowed. the legislation provides five specific conditions which must be met before anyone in our -- .an be adjusted or transitions
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these conditions are first. we are including a comprehensive southern border security plan right in the legislation. this is a $3.2 billion high-tech plan. the plan is detailed. water -- water sector by border sector. helicopters, planes, and other physical surveillance equipment to secure the border. the plan also includes high-tech tools like mobile surveillance systems, seismic imaging, ground sensors, and unmanned systems equipped with cameras, and long- range thermal imaging cameras. the secretary of homeland security, and the secretary of defense, and the comptroller general of the u.s. must certify
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to the congress that this comprehensive southern border security strategy is deployed and operational. .hat is in place and operating that is the first requirement before the adjustment. and maintainoy 20,000 additional border patrol agents on the southern border. as in addition to the number of those on the border now. we will double the number of border patrol agent's to detect into rebecca those individuals who try to cross our borders illegally. 700 miles must build of fencing. double the amount required in the underlying build. thatiles of fencing
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compares to 42 miles of fencing we have in place right now. mustecretary of, security verify that the mandatory e- verify system has been implemented to enforce workplace laws, so immigrants are not employed. entry exitnic identification system must be in place at all international airports and seaports in the united states, work customs and border protection officers are deployed. these are the requirements. these are the requirements, they must be met before law firm -- lawful residency is allowed. no green cards other than for dreamers and add workers until these requirements are met. once again, we must seek your the border first.
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basil americans demand. that is what we must do to get comprehensive immigration reform right. that is what this does. it does it with objective and verifiable methods. we ask her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join with us, and to pass this legislation. thank you madam president. i would like to turn to my distinguished colleagues from tennessee. i want to thank him for his tremendous work, which is ongoing. i can't say how much they appreciate his good efforts, and his good faith on bipartisan basis. . turn for his comments >> i want to thank the senator from north dakota or his outstanding leadership. you would expect that from someone who served in such a
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distinguished way of governor of a state. he is doing an outstanding job on this issue. i want to thank him for being a great partner. i know we have work to do. the fact is, we still have to introduce this amendment. work is underway right now. i want to thank him, his staff camera -- his staff, for the way he is dug into this issue, solved the problems the americans are looking for, and working with us. thank you very much. i want to think the gang of eight for the they have done over the last multiple months to bring us to the place we are where we have opportunity to do s need. the american ensuring we have secured the border. one of my colleagues called this -- there is a broad agreement about what the content of it is, and it is
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being vetted. some people are describing this as a border search. the fact is, we are investing resources in securing our borders that have never been invested before, doubling border patrol. the technology that he needs to have 100% awareness and to secure our borders. dealing with the exit program, e verify, so that all of these things are in place. i want to take the senator from texas who began the process of focusing on border security. his amendment earlier failed. i think what he helped us do is build momentum towards an amendment that is far stronger, and even better than his efforts at looking at a border security measure in this regard. i want to say, i'm of a person
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who speaks for a long time. at people understand that. the senator from north dakota has done an outstanding job of laying out the manning elements of this and then it will be voted on in the near future. i do think the american people have asked us if we asked him immigration bill, to do everything that we can to shore -- to ensure we have secured the border. dazzle people have asked for. -- that is what people have asked for. that is what this amendment does. i think this amendment has the ability to bring a bipartisan effort behind immigration reform that would go to the house. i do wish this amendment had other measures. i think that the house can include -- improve this. a conference can improve this.
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i hope that we have the opportunity down the road to see that occur. i want to thank all of our and crafting an amendment and the sensibilities on both sides, and securing our border in such a way that we can put this issue mostly behind us. we can have immigration system in our country that meets the needs of a growing economy, the biggest in the world, the focus is on making our country stronger, not weaker, and hopefully we'll put this debate behind us. i yield the floor. >> senate republicans and tea party activists held a press conference. the voice opposition to a compromise on border security. mike lee, jim sessions. this is 30 minutes.
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>> welcome. i thank you for joining us today. i am joined today by several of my colleagues, along with activists and concerned citizens from around the country who have feelings about this bill. the want to say at the outset that we are a nation of immigrants. we always have been. i hope we always will be. i look around the group, i suspect that most or all of us are either immigrants ourselves the more the descendents of immigrants. one of the reasons we have been in -- an attractive place for immigrants to call is that this is a great place to live. in order for that to be the case, the world's last test hope, we need to continue to stand by the rule of law. something interesting is happening in washington in recent weeks. we have had proponents of the gang of eight legislation suggesting that the world in washington right now the be
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divided into two hemispheres. between those people who have liked the idea of reforming immigration, like the idea of coming up with laws that are more realistic and modern, and are likely to treat our immigrant population with dignity and respect, and those who do not want any immigration reform at all. they suggest that those in the former category are uniformly willing to back the gang of eight proposal. that is not true. we -- we have in the proposal ,s a series of requirements promises, many of which have proven false. we are promised in the same way we were in 1986 50 just legalize those who are here illegally right now, we will secure the border later. will indeed the lima gray should once and for all. -- we will in illegal immigration once and for all.
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bill, if we pass this bill as it is written now, it is not going to happen now either. we have the given a number of promises for the qualifications for those who will legalize their status and become citizens. we been promised they will have to pay back taxes. when you read the fine print of the bill, it turns out that is not true. it is grossly misleading. they are required to pay taxes, but only those who have been assessed by the irs. if you been working off the books, you will not have anything assessed for the iressa. that is an illusionary one. the text ofk at the bill, he makes clear that a lot of people, even people that felony offenses along the way, will end up citizens under this legislation. we have been told that this will secure the border. there is nothing in this
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legislation that make sure that that will happen. as a condition of opening the legalization and citizenship process. in short, this bill, and the promises surrounding it, are full of hollow and ultimately illusory assertions. we have concerns about this. we do believe that we can ring about broad-based immigration reform with bipartisan support. that needs to be done in a proper sequence. in each to be done in a step-by- step manner. i am addressing border security in one bill. another bill in visa modernization. bring our immigration code into the 21st century. one so things are in place, the border secure or, emily functioning exit system. then we can look at how to address those undocumented with justice. with that, i would like now to turn the floor to my friends and colleagues. >> thank you.
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now the time for the american people to have their voice heard, we are reaching a point, we'll be casting votes in the legislation. i think it is exceedingly important an invaluable that the tea party patriots today are heard on this issue. it is the american people sing these opportunities to communicate with their senators, to share with them their views about the need for a system immigration that serves the national interest of the united states, and makes life editor for working americans, not worse. kind of thing we ought to be doing. i am delighted to be here today. and to share these thoughts, and to hear from our guest. they are also here to share marks. >> let me just share to thoughts
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with you. i have been blessed to give a lot of speeches at naturalization ceremonies. when you do that, you look across the crowd and you see these people that have worked hard. they have learned the language pretty known more about our country than the history -- than the rest of us know. i'm not one to do anything that lets someone fast forward in front of them. this is one of my major concerns. i'm the making member of a senate armed services committee. i'm concerned with the national security elements of this. how many of you are aware of the fact that the non-mexican that come across the border any -- have increased a c seven percent. we have something in our law that says that if these decisions -- if the of someone who has committed a crime, the longer they can keep it would be for six years. at the end of that time, they would have to be turned loose
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enough the country they came from could not repatriate them. we have evolved these problems. . we're going to sort these out. i do not see it happening in this bill. i'm david letter from louisiana. i am pleased to join the tea party patriots here today. , think that in particular once you hear from their guest, you will see that we all support america is a nation of immigrants. we said oort fixing our broken immigration system. this is where we are with regard to this bill. this gang of eight bill was supposed to come to the senate, and sail through with over 60 votes. then once it was actually introduced, and debated, that support started to erode. a lot of legitimate concerns turn into a rise. i do not think it has those 60
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votes right now as we speak. now that an amendment. now we've got onto plan b. plan b is to bring up the amendment very quickly, having a lot of hoopla about border security. party pass it to then. with that amendment over 60 votes. i think it is important that we look at the details of the amended. it's actually rick -- let's actually read it before we vote on it. once the american people do, they will understand the same thing they came to understand about the underlying bill. it is not truly fix the problem. for two main reasons. because an immediate amnesty, and immediate legalization happens first, and only after that are there promises of enforcement. secondly, i guarantee its inputs, spending money, there is a measurement of success of
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results of actually securing the border. they have rejected our having any verifiable measurement of actually securing the border. those are the two big problems with underlying bills, and will remain the big problems with the amendment. i will leave pushing for time so we can actually read and understand the amendment. the american people need to be able to read and understand the amendment. and then, let's have a full debate. thank you. >> next we will hear from my neighbor and friend to the south, from the state of nevada. >> thank you. thank you senator sessions. i'm the chief strategist for the tea party.net. it is clear here that what a senators have said, and what others have expressed is that we
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are looking for solutions to the problem of immigration. -- myervation organization issued a series of principles for comprehensive immigration reform in america. -- politics.r not for a certain segment of americans, but for all of the american people. you can see these principles and our website. since we launched it a day ago. grassrootsten 15,000 activists from across the country that were in favor of certain aspects of immigration reform. we are looking for solutions. unfortunately, what is currently being called the gang of eight bill has not been the solution.
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border security is our first principle. from theinutes amendment to the -- at either been defeated, or tabled. it seems clear to me that senator schumer and senator reid are not serious about getting a bipartisan immigration reform bill passed through the senate. they are interested in playing politics. ,ur tea party organization other groups, the 15,000 tea party organizations that have signed on to america first immigration policy will not play that game. with that, i'm going to introduce my colleague and friend jenny of the tea party express. of the tea party patriots. as many of you are aware, tea party patriots and many other groups have tea party or
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patriots, liberty, 912 and their names have been targeted by the irs. they interpreted a law, and did not apply that law fairly and equally to everyone. they interpreted the law in a subjective manner, because there are no objective measurements for it. as we look at what is in this immigration bill, it makes border security subjective, rather than objective. we have seen personally what happens when you allow things that should be objective to be concerned -- become subjective to a person's opinion. our border cannot be an opinion as to whether it is to it you're not. since you're not. -- six you're not. we have people who have joined us, and they are immigrants to america. i feel these people are actually state coordinators for
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tea party patriots. they have lived under other types of countries with other types of governments, and they love our country, and love the freedom in our country. they like the rule of law in america. they want to make sure that the rule of law continues to exist in america. the first person i'm going to have to speak is suzanne guggenheim. she is from texas. she was born on d-day. the doctor told her mother -- she was born in france. hungary on d-day. the doctor told her mother the americans have landed before they told her that she had a girl. ,he has lived under fascism socialism, communism, and capitalism. suzanne. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here today. i was born in 1930 hungary.
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in the king kong in this -- it became communism. like most of the illegal immigrants, i came to america to find what we look for some freedom, and the opportunity. after any 1986 law, i lost two years to become citizens of the country i love and respect it because of that making the 3 million illegal immigrants cut in front of the line. the bill proposed by the gang of eight i think will make the rule of law a mockery. the deepthat, but impact that 15-30,000,000
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immigrants will have on our society will compromise our future in a terrible way. i hope that things to the senators that are here leading the fight, we will be able to put a stop to this. >> thank you. next week have pam, who is an immigrant from england. she is our state coordinator in idaho. she is been on the david letterman show. >> thank you for being here. i was born in england. my family moved united states in 1954. we left behind the war-torn nation that was still rationing meat and sugar. we came to a land of plenty, and we did live the american dream. we all worked very hard, and with that, when rebel to -- we
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were able to live the american dream. as i see the voters being so open, the senators have expressed concern for the bill. angry with everything they say. we must secure our borders. we must check our visas. my daughter-in-law is an australian. she left the country after three months because of visa expired green people need to be made to do what our law requires. thank you very much. >> thank you. next we have dr. al biro hasting, from jacksonville florida. she is an immigrant from cuba. i>> thank you. i would like to say my maiden name is hernandes. i was born in cuba. i came to the program in 1961. a program that brought over 14,000 children to the united
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states legally. i remember how difficult hat was on my parents, and how much had to sacrifice. , and what for freedom this off -- country had to offer for our future. i'm very concerned that that is no longer happening. i'm am opposed to these immigration bills. ,any hispanics will tell you almost banks are not alike. we really find it very condescending's when they paint is with the same brush. i have absolutely nothing in common with those who support a group like larocque some -- a far left radical marxist type of group. we do not stand for that. we stand for the rule of law.
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as for the compassion that senator rubio talks about, where is the compassion for the american citizens? onee should be a number priority in every bill that our congressman look at. every bill that we support. either there is no compassion for the legal immigrants -- they are just supporting cheap labor for the special interest. thank you for your attention. >> thank you. next, hans marson. he is from the uk. he is on a green card. he is our state coordinator for kentucky. in case we are being monitored, i just want to prove my green card.
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1976 after in vacation in california. i figured this was the country i wanted to live in. i came legally read -- legally. now i find that the government has decided even though it didn't work in the past, they are going to give amnesty and stop illegal immigration. i would like to tell the government, if you give amnesty to millions of people, all you are doing is encouraging millions more to come in. the border is secure, you will never stop them from coming in. itould go as far as to say, is the government does grant this, they are saying to the rest of the world, you are a full to get into the line go to mexico. you are eligible for all sorts
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i'm against it. i will do whatever i can to support the people like the senators who are against this bill. thank you. >> we have one more coordinator. before we go to him, we are going to have maria espinoza beat. she is with your memories project. -- she is with the remembrance project. >> thank you. they keep her being here. i'm the founder of a remembrance project, dedicated to bringing awareness to the forgotten.
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the victims killed by a legal aliens. behind me is the quote project is going national. we are in 18 states now. we are memorializing the victims killed by illegal aliens. i'm the president of houston legal reform, and a first- generation american. i oppose this in the strongest possible terms. i plead with lawmakers to oppose this dangerous bill. its authors work hand-in-hand with rich businessman and and the sea -- at this he advocates. their decisions to provide amnesty to criminals, including gang members, as a slap in the face to victims of illegal alien violence. our families are being separated from their loved ones through no part of their own. who have lied to
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authorities, who will prove they have nothing about our lives. this that makes it impossible to deport anyone in the future, guaranteeing criminals are made in our country. -- borders will innocent will place civilians in more danger, and allow terminal gangs to continue preying on the innocent. life stolen by illegal alien is one life to many. , like evathe stars longoria, who supports legislation that threatens the safety of americans? have they taken the time to speak with the families of victims go by illegal aliens? i think not. this is a disaster in every
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possible respect. it is evident the american family did not have a seat at this negotiating table. this bill must be shredded. i'm asking everyone to rise in opposition of this un-american bill. otherwise they will -- there'll be thousands of other victims. thank you for your wonderful work. >> thank you. i'm being called to the floor. we have activities going on. i would just say that the tea party representative -- revisions the expression of the american people. they always did for the national interest as opposed to special interest. special interests wrote this bill. the road in secret. the producer to the floor. all kinds of promotional activity planned and agendas to move forward.
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he will be the people who need to speak out about it. people need to express themselves to their senators and congressmen that this is perceived. i believe that we know three things are liable to happen with this bill. it will be amnesty first. amnesty will occur. that is no doubt. we know that wages will be reduced. the gross domestic product per capita will go down. unemployment will go up. this is not the kind of thought out policy that serves the interest of the american people. the people who are working and struggling today, hoping to have a job with insurance and retirement plan, anyway to take care of their emily's. that is in decline for decades. this will only accelerate it.
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i believe it is important for the american people to speak out. these great speakers of shared from their hearts their concerns about the rule of law, and the people of america. ain't you all for participating. others will be speaking. .hank you for leading this i'm sorry active under the floor. >> thank you. we have two more speakers. ournext one -- we have coffee -- -- we have arcotti. he lived in the soviet union under communism. he is in california.
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>> hello. .t is a pleasure to be here i grew up in the soviet union. . was educated there i spent years in the soviet military. gulp of thel socialist paradise living under tyranny. i was fortunate enough to be able to immigrate. i lived in austria and italy obama papers were being processed. i was submitting my application forms. i was given medical exams. i provided copies of my diploma and birth certificate, and other papers that were quiet the time. after all that, and i was waiting for a year, i was granted in their be with an american embassy.
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two months later, i got a visa. to enter the greatest country known to man. our country, the united states. , and workingon, , i was having -- i was interviewed by fbi. they want to make sure the information is accurate. i became a citizen and never looked back. , 34 years ago, it is not what it is now. the government of this country knew everything about me the four i entered this country. today, the said government is letting people into the country without knowing who they are, what a came from, what their
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intention was coming here. sweet talk from politicians. the senators are talking about doing legalization first, doing pretty much a lipservice. can beell you the border secured. it must be secured. before we can do anything else. because, you have perpetuated the problem instead of fixing it. i'm not saying on purpose to fix the border first. it has to be mandatory. fixed the border. .he border on the north it is counterproductive to talk about immigration reform without doing number 1 -- plugging the hole.
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i would like to tell you that this is a wonderful country. exceptional nation. it pains me to see this magnificent ship called the noses of america failing to get the the destination. we can change it. it is our country. we must change it because there is no other place to run. thank you ray much. -- thank you very much. >> the last week or i'm going to have marie introduced. -- the last speaker i will have marietta introduced. >> sm is brutally murdered last year. the killer was in front of the judge 10 days before he killed joshua. we are wearing the ribbons memorializing the victims. these, -- please,.
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-- please come up. >> i have been here all of my life. i been married for 25 years, and have three children. i speaking against this bill because my 18-year-old son was brutally murdered by illegal immigrant. i didn't ask the put here. here i am. i'm asking where is the common sense in all this? just come to washington d c, i had to show my id, and i was search. all the thousands of people crossing the border were crossing illegally, and no one seemed to care. i'm going to ask each senator voting in favor of this to go home, gather up their kids, and decide which one would you sacrifice. which one would you sacrifice to make a better life?
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for the ones that continue to break our laws. we do not know what their intentions are coming here. we can sit here and think that things are going to get -- that things are going to happen. not going to happen, like it did to me. will it take a personal done your family before you get back to common sense government? i ask that you close the southern border first before you make any move for this bill. thank you for your time. >> thank you. thank you everyone. we will take questions. we will just break up now pray think you for being here. james lacy defense analysts on the situation in
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afghanistan and syria. then a look at presidential -- president obama's trip to europe. later, an examination of what drives employment in the u.s. with john woolford. washington journal is live every morning at 7:00 on c-span. >> john boehner says that if the nation becomes a nation of builders again, the nation needs to fix the tax code. -- it iss came at the 15 minutes. >> matt have your attention please but -- may i have your
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attention please. love. what i . rowdy manufacturers. i have a great privilege right now of introducing to you someone that is no stranger to any of us. probably the greatest friend that manufacturers have in the united states congress. john boehner has been a representative from ohio since 1990. we are so pleased that he is speaker of the house. i can tell you that just watching him, i have had the opportunity to interact not only with the speaker, but his incredibly talented staff. the drop of speaker of the house i believe is the hardest one that exists in washington dc. 435 cats, and had anyone who had a cat knows
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knows there are no to cats the same personality. equally debt to the united states house are presented to us read the speaker is -- equally that to the house of representatives. i wanted to tell you a little bit about the speaker. first of all, one of the reasons that john boehner is one of the greatest people in washington is she is froms -- ohio. i appreciate that. he used her present my parents in the house. that was a nice little connection. he was -- when people come to washington, they come with the preconceived values that were instilled in them throughout their entire life. i want you to think about this when you think of john boehner. he was one of 12 children, and
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those children shared two- bedrooms, and one bedroom -- one that there. -- one bathroom. if you wonder if he can handle the art of compromise, all you have to know is how he handled the first years of his life. i'm very proud that before he came to congress, he represented manufacturers. he's one of us. he gets us. some of those manufacturers are ,embers of this organization founded in 1985 in ohio. i do want to leave you with this. i think this is something i have never forgotten amitai my wife -- from the time i watched john boehner take the oath of office as speaker of the house. that here his remarks
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made during that time. "economic freedom, individual liberty, personal responsibility -- i hope these values dear because i have lived them. i have said my whole life chasing the american dream. -- thewelcome the help speaker of the house, john weber -- please welcome the speaker of the house, john boehner. [applause]
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>> i appreciate the chance to talk with people who deal with the number one issue on the minds of americans, and that is jobs in our economy. when we look at where we are, we are still seeing growth. it is not just that right now. in america, the people have always had a healthy skepticism about their government. they read about the irs abuse of power, and targeting americans for their political beliefs. they wonder about what happened in benghazi where americans were killed. they see report the journalists had their phones monitored, and they asked this could happen to them.
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they are -- in washington there has been no accountability. only arrogance of power that puts politics ahead of doing the right thing. when government is out of control, and also the people it is supposed to serve, it makes it harder to do our work. to grow our economy. the arrogance we are seeing in the same arrogance that has left our economy plodding along. after four years of watching -- washington knows best, our economy is recovering at the slowest rate since world war ii. the growth numbers barely move. unemployment stays about the same. we are told not to read much into it. experts call this condition the new normal. some even argue it is good enough for now. it is not good enough for me.
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i know it is not good enough for you either. how can any of us stay on top with groups that nearly cap 12 million americans out of work and threaten our children's future eschenbach -- future? we are not people who hobble along hoping someone -- things will get better. we are people who chart our own course. who take matters into our own hands. that is why i'm here today. people in this room represent so much of our nations economic success, and our potential for the future. manufacturing represents where things are gone wrong in recent years. america's greatness has always rested on our ability to build things and produce things. we have built the steam engine. we'll -- rebuild the model t. cyberspace. we are a nation of builders.
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our vision is one of a country where everyone has the opportunity to build something from nothing. a business, a charity, a church, a gadget, the website, a home. it is because we are a nation of builders that we created more prosperity than anyone, anywhere in the world. it is because we are a nation of builders we've been able to pass on to our children a brighter future and a better life. ,nder the obama ministration it is been harder than ever to build in this nation. red tape, and outdated tax code, shortsighted policies are driving the cost of everything, stifling innovation, and sending jobs and opportunities to our competitors like china. politicians and bureaucrats will pettaxpayer money on projects.
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the hoover dam, the golden gate bridge, even our highway system would be impossible to build in today's regulatory environment. this administration would have us believe that we can build a great nation on a rain of red tape while operating the service economy by things that my earlier generations. this is not an issue of republicans versus democrats. it is about america. is about the world. our competitors have detailed strategies for growth and high wage jobs. competitor tax codes, and cooperation between the government and the private sector. as result, we are now being being displaced in the global economy. china now consumes more energy than we did read it now produces -- then we do.
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it is the world's leading manufacturer. our economy has grown slowly because we have invested in government rather than in ourselves. the resources that we need. we need a newer roach -- we need a new approach. we need to unleash the nation of builders. to become a nation of builders again, we have to stop picking winners and losers, and focus on expanding opportunities for everyone. we start the foundation for giving more of her kids a chance at a good education. let's empower parents with choices and opportunities to improve access to higher education, job training, so students are emitter -- ready for tomorrow. we must simply fix our tax code.
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if we clear out all of these loopholes that make the tax code fair, it is going to be easier to understand. we will keep ideas and resources here in america. we need -- [applause] we need to expand markets for american made goods. it will help lower prices for consumers, create better jobs for workers, and attract new investments to our shores. to become a nation of builders again, we need to reform our broken immigration system. securing our borders and enforcing our laws, and making the process of becoming a legal immigrant fair or will help america remain a magnet for the brightest minds in the world. [applause]
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being a nation of builders means fostering innovation, and keeping the internet free for coders developers -- coders, developers, and engineers. they do build the hardware and software, and innovations that power our modern economy. becoming a nation of builders again means finally pursuing a true all of the above national energy strategy. developing america is energy resources is one of the best opportunities for robust and sustained economic growth. it is not just our economic frontiers. it is just that the internet was in the 1990s. america has more combined oil, coal, natural gas resources than any other nation on earth. we are sitting on the gateway to prosperity.
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an oil and natural gas renaissance is in full swing. here in washington, we have got an administration that will not let us build the keystone pipeline. big about it this way. the aim -- imagine if the clinton administration had told the budding tech companies in places like silicon valley or west virginia that they need to hold off on plans indefinitely because the federal government, even after review, had to have -- imagine that after years of study, the ministration told america's private sector innovators that they needed to hold off on harnessing the internet because one federal department deemed the review of another department to be insufficient.
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other nations would have laughed at us. all the way to the bank. just the gas -- instead of researching the velma, we need to greenlight the keystone pipeline. we need to expand production of our resources, onshore and offshore. that is how we become a nation of builders once again. [applause] all of these are the types of policies that can bring us out of the so-called new normal. they help create jobs and deliver sustained growth. it is all part of the republican plan for economic growth. i encourage you to go visit us .nline at gop.gov one my colleagues and i do not have a majority in washington, we are going to continue to pursue our plan. i asked all of you to challenge
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members to join us. a nation of builders is not just a slogan. i was born in 1949 when america was entering the post-world war ii boom. by that point, my grandfather had opened a bar. my dad took it over and ran it for many years. i work there growing up, worked through school there. then i went on to start my own small business. we always knew that if we worked hard, and sacrificed, we could make a better life. our young people to die -- our young people cannot count on that vision many of us had growing up. because of the lack of leadership in washington, it is slipping away from them. slipping away from us. it doesn't have to be that way.
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it is times like this week come together, it is times like this with the come together them -- it is time that is become together. nothing faced demands less. let's rise above the challenge is of the moment. let us restore ourselves as a nation of builders. good luck. god bless you. [applause] >> coming up on c-span, the process for granting security clearances. then house majority leader cantor discuss the farm bill.
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later, house minority leader discusses how factions on the farm bill. >> coming up, james lacy defense -- thes and author of situation in afghanistan and syria read then a look at president obama's recent trip to europe. later, an examination of what drives employment in the u.s.. "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 eastern on c- span. >> friday, mitch mcconnell is at the american enterprise institute to talk about what he sees as infringement on free
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speech. you can see it live starting at 10:00 eastern here on c-span. >> first ladies have the capacity for personify. this is a pattern in american women and politics. this is to think. they are women, we are people who actually do things. then there is this secondary capacity of being a personified figure, a charismatic figure. i think many of first lady has come and realize this thing was larger-than-life, and that was something doll he figured out. she becomes a figurehead for her husband's administration. she makes the white house into a symbol. all this is happening in 18 away. she doesn't know this. to burnish are going the capital city, and this work the she put into helping the
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public identify with this house that they called the white house is going to pay off. it is going to give the surge of nationalism around the war. >> our focus on first ladies continues every monday night. monday night at 9:00 eastern on cpsc. -- c-span. >> the house ways and means subcommittee on health is looking into the long-term sustainability of medicare. here's a look. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> you and the six other trustees predicted in 13 years
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medicare will only be able to pay 87% of its benefits. >> the amount would be 87% of what is currently scheduled. under law that side of medicare cannot make payments in excess of the balance of its trust funds. so simply, under most interpretations of the law medicare would have to wait until there was revenue before it could send out payments. in many quace this would mean a reduction or denial of care. >> you say in your testimony you project likely higher cost growth rates going forward. so in effect we ought not count on, you know, the low growth rates of the last two years and you make the point that our finances, quote, are on ice
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edge. the seven trustees said we need, congress needs to take prompt, timely legislative action. so was that prompt and timely meaning sometime in the next 10 years? sometime in the next five years? do we need to act sooner than that to address these issues? >> well, certainly the sooner there is action i think the more prudent it would be for a number of reasons. one is the sooner you act, the more people you can involve in the solution. you can involve more cohorts of taxpayers. you can have a gentler impact on beneficiaries, you can spread it out over a longer period of time. the other point is you have to remember the main factors driving the cost growth. one is demographics. it's hard to change on a dime anything about demographics. >> lot more people coming into the program, high e -- higher
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costs over the long term continuing to drive the financial problems. >> that's right. >> what's your recommendation to us? how soon should we act to address these issues? you've been there. you know the issues and the challenges. how much longer do we delay taking some meaningful steps? >> and the difficult've -- difficulty of this, of course, is lawmakers always have to make a judgment as to what is the right environment and time to act from a number of perspectives. i can tell you strictly in a numerical perspective, the sooner you act, the better. >> now? in this session? >> from a purely technical perspective, yes. >> thank you, your testimony sounds like everything is just fine in medicare. is your thinking don't worry, be happy, you know, it will all work out? >> well, i mean i think i said early on in my oral remarks as
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well as my written remarks that although i'm optimistic about slowdown, i think that we still face a very significant problem and like my colleague i think the sooner we adopt measures to address the long-term situation, the better. i'm not one who spends sleepless nights worrying about out but you know, looking at the next two decades, you know, there is cause for concern. and like dr. blauhaus, i believe the sooner decisions are made, the more gradually they can be implemented and the more political viability they will have. >> is your thinking too, rather than waiting five or 10 years would your recommendation as
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far as taking some meaningful steps, to congress, be to do this this session in to start those solutions or at least the steps of them now rather than continuing to delay? >> we've adopted a lot of changes. we're going to learn a lot from the demonstration and pilot programs and from the implementation of various cost-reducing measures in the affordable care act. and i think, you know, in a few years we will be in a much better position to adopt in a sense the next generation of changes. informed by what we learn about what, how well some of these demonstrations are doing. >> i didn't -- you spent a lot of time in your testimony talking about the the benefits of the affordable care act. i didn't see that.
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what section of the trustees' report was that in? >> it wasn't. i said i was going to stray a bit from the trustees' report because -- >> oh, it's your personal view just looking a head on these issues >> yes. and it comes from the belief that the success of the efforts o hold down medicare costs depends critically on what's happening in the rest of our health economy, that medicare didn't -- can't go off -- >> no, i heard the testimony loud and clear. >> a government watchdog said the company that did the background check on government leaker edward snowden is being investigated and there may be problems revealed by the investigation. patrick mcfarland testified before a subcommittee hearing. the hearing is 90 minutes.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] i call to order this committee. i want top thank senator johnson for being here. senator mccaskill will be here shortly and i'm sure senator portman will, too. the title is safeguarding the country's securities, examining the security clearance process. i want to thank our witnesses for being here today and joining us. thank you for your time. recent re -- events have forced us to take a closer look at the pams carried out by the
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government in the name of napt security, whether they properly balance our security and essential liberties. it is also incumbent on us to raise critical ez -- questions about how the government is vetting the individuals, whether employees or contractors, who have access to our most sensitive data. i asked keith alexander a pretty straight up question. after the outcry of wiki leaks and executive order calling for improved classified network security and after spending tens if not hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to update networks to keep our secrets, how on earth does an employee on, a contractor on he job less than four months get access this way?
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terms -- in terms of securing classified information we just don't have an external problem, we have an internal one. today there are nearly five million individuals inside and outside our government who have been granted security clearances and access to our most sensitive data. 1.4 million hold a top-security clearance. given the increasing number of folks with access, we have a real problem on our hands if we can't get this right and because of the national security implication is involved there is simply no margin for error. none. today's hearing builds on the work of our colleagues in the armed services committee and the committee -- slkt committee on intelligence. tasks and i ne the
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hope and expect an open and frank discussion with our witnesses today about the particular roles they play in the security clearance process. we need to know what we do right and what we can do better. a lot of progress has been made but we certainly have a ways to go. i would like to turn it over to senator claire mccaskill for her opening statement. welcome, clair. >> thank you very much. and i hope this be is the first of many joint hearings we have with senator portman and senator johnson. i think all four of us have demonstrated a desire to get after various problems that are sometimes embedded in our government without adequate oversight and i'm very happy with -- to work with all three of you on this effort today. earlier this month, a contractor working with n.s.a., edward snowden, released classified information.
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he had access to this because he had received a security clearance following an investigation of his background. er 90% of the investigations for both employees and contractors are conducted by the office of personnel management, including all background investigations for members of 9 middle, civilian and military contractors. we received information regarding how the government plans, conducts, and pays for background investigations. this investigation reveals a government agency where there is fraud, limited accountability, and no respect for taxpayer dollars. conducting and managing background investigations costs the federal ghost over $1 million a year. the office uses a revolving fund structure in which federal agencies pay o.p.m. for the different investigations each agency needs, both for its
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employees and for its contractors. as a former missouri state auditor i was shocked to learn that this fund has fletcher been awedy. ed. the inspector general will testify that he has tried several times, but the agency simply doesn't have or keep the records that would allow him to do an audit. we also learned that at least 18 investigators have been convicted of falsifying investigations since 2007. these convictions call into question hundreds of top-secret level clearances as well as hundreds of lower-level clearances. there are more than 40 other active and pending investigations into fabricated investigations and it is possible that there are far more. we also learned that approximately 75% of all the government's investigations are conducted by contractors. and that just one contractor, usis, conducts 65% of those
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investigations. now, usis also has a contract to provide suptort the office of personnel management in managing and overseeing investigations, work which appears to put them in the position of being a contractor to do the investigation and then to be the contractor overseeing their own employees doing the investigations. for its work, the office of rsonnel management, usis has received more than $200 million last year. we have received information that usis is currently under criminal investigation bit office of personnel management's inspector general and that this investigation is related to their systematic failure to conduct surveillance investigations under its contract. we learned that they conducted the background investigation
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for edward snowden in 2011, part of the time period that is under review. we are limited in what we can say about this because it's an ongoing investigation and we could not comment. but federal agencies like the defense department le -- rely on these background investigations to make assessments whether people should be trusted in -- with our nation's most sensitive investigation. this hearing will help us verify the question, are we handling background investigations effectively and in a way deserving of our trust? i thanke the witnesses for being here. >> thank you. opening statement? welcome. >> thank you mr. chairman. i thank my chair from the last congress who is here with us and ranking member, my colleague from wisconsin. this is timely. it's a really important topic
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and obviously i'm -- timely given the snowden disclosures and the inadequacy of the system that demonstrated. so we appreciate the witnesses being here. it's time once again to focus on this issue. 9 security process performed well is critical because it insures that the nation's most valuable information is protected and -- while assuring we have the employees we need to cuck the federal government effectively. damage tial for -- is is great this committee has had a long history of looking into this issue. oversight of the processes that now manage almost five million government and contractor personnel who are authorized to have some form of security clearance.
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five million people. given the many challenges in the past, it's only appropriate that we follow up today to see how these agencies are progresses -- progressing, and again in light of what just happened, to see why it's not working as well as it should be. six years, the government office had dod on its high risk list. it's now off the list, got offer in 2011 but there is a long list of recommendations for the department of defense and o.p.m. and others involved in the security clearance process and we're still working through those. these include incomplete or missing case management, shortcomings in metrics, and most troubling i think is the pressure to meet timelyness metrics impact the quality of investigations. additionally our i.g.'s have identified issues of additional
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concern from the annual revolving fund, numerous cases of fraud in investigations conduct the by contractors and inspectors. we must have an adequate, effective, efficient, timely completion of background investigations. while such attention has been paid in recent years to timeliness, there remains many and ions of efficiency effectiveness. again i thank you to the witnesses for being here and thank the two sub committees, the chairs for bringing this issue before us. >> thank you, senator portman. we'll turn it over to senator johnson. ranking member of the house oversight committee. >> thank you. i didn't count how many times i
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heard the word "process," but that's exactly what this is all about, how do you develop a process that actually works. coming from a manufacturing background in business, there are all sinds of processes we have standardized. there are things like surveillance audits on an ongoing basis and as i was reviewing the information prior to this hearing that's what kept jumping into my mind. if we could apply those processes across the government we could be in a far better place. probably the best pete of preparation material, there is an oral -- article written february 20, 2013 by a former deputy secretary of defense. i'd like to sbor -- enter that into the record. it just really describes how this gentleman was going through a clearance process. he had already filed his electronic version of the fs-86 but someone on a government
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computer couldn't get access, he had to fill it out again and then the review process was a government employee or a contract employee basically going through question by question by question while he was nate private sector business in a similar process and in the process of just asking five questions they had a 99% review rate of whether that person was committing fraud. so again, in the private sector we can get to a process that works. my question is why can't we get that in government? hopefully what this hearing is about it is coming up with that standardized process that actually works because i agree with all three of you, this is critical if we're going to be able to maintain our national secrets. thank you. >> what was the name of that document you wanted entered into the record? ok. without objection. done the so for our witnesses, i'd like to point out we
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extended and invite to the director of the office of national intelligence. they were unable to provide us with a witness, and i acknowledge they're under huge demands and that the notice was short but hopefully they will be here next time. we will start with patrick mcfarland, inspector general of the office of personnel management. he's served in that capacity nce 1990, the long heft -- longest-tenured inspector general. he heads up the audit programs that seek to identify fraud, waist -- waste, and abuse in programs administered by o.p.m. i understand you were a police officer at st. louis one time. hopefully your path did not cross senator mccaskill's. >> only if we were quarterbacking up to put a criminal in jail! >> ok. very good. he is also ackkpped by the
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o.p.m. inspector general for investigations. welcome to you both. merton miller is the associate director of federal investigations for the f.i.s., the federal government's larget. provider of background investigations and services. he is responsible for policy development and contractor oversight of the program. before joining o.p.m. mr. miller served a long and distinguished career in the u.s. air force. if you you are looking to fly a 31, come to montana, we're going to be looking for pilots. , an office that xercises oversilent over the security clearance project in the military. he is accompanied by stanley
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simms many welcome mr. louis and mr. simms to the hearings and thank you for your service. and last but not least, brenda farrell, at the government accountability office. she's responsible for overseeing military and d.o.d. civilian personnel issues including security clearance issues. she has worked sentencively on a number of national security issues since she began her career at the garvings -- g.a.o. in 1981. welcome all of you. it is a custom to swear in witnesses who appear before this committee so if you don't mind i'd like you to all stand and repeat after me. raise your right hand. do you swear that the testimony you will give before this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? let the record reflect they all answered in the affirmative.
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now, each one of you are going to have five minutes for your oral statements. i would just tell you that your entire written testimony will be a part of the record an you can add more to that testimony up until july 8. we will start with you, mr. mcfarland. if you can feep -- keep it to five we would sure appreciate it. others men, distinguished ranking members of the sub committees. i am the inspect -- inspector general at the office of personnel management. thank you for inviting me here today to speak about our oversight work related to the o.p.m. program office. in 1978 the united states congress took a bold step in creating the "not top 10" -- inspector general act, bold in that it was born out of a multitude of government-wide
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mistakes, serious mistakes and just plain wrongdoing. it was, i believe, a congress' pledge to the american citizen that their expectations of good -- good government and their tax mine -- money would be protected. the inspector general at its re is about transparency and constitutionality. it is with this understanding that each inspector general honors the independence required of them free of any political influence which congress mandated. today you have asked me here because of concerns about the lack of trance air ebsy in an organization that plays an tregal part in protecting -- ntegral part in protecting our security and work force. these investigations are used by agencies to determine whether to grant a contractor
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or federal employee a security clearance. due to recent events, a key point has become who should we trust with access to sensitive information related to national security? the very first step the government takes in answering these questions is to conduct background investigations. i am here to inform you there s an alarmingy inefficient level of oversight, a lack of independent verification of the organization that conducts these investigations is a clear threat to national security. if a background investigation is not conducted properly. all other steps taken when issuing a security clearance are called into question. every day i have the privilege of leading an organization of people dedicated to a work ethic that embodies our organizational pledge to know our business and responsibilities better than anyone else and at the close of
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the day to be able to say we did what was right for the american taxpayer. this having been said, what is most noteworthy for your committee's understanding is that our oversight of the investigative services program has been torn by virtue of an agency funding decision. under current law the federal investigative services must price its services and products in a manner that allows had -- it to recover the actual costs of administering the program. for several years, o.m. -- o.p.m. has taken the position that oversight is not considered to be an administrative cost and thus our office has been denied access to the resolving fund. i don't think that anyone here would argue that oversight, financial audits, performance audits and investigative activity are not a crucial part of the administration of any
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government program. to compensate, we have used the $3 million we have for nontrust fund work to maintain a modicum of oversight viability in the resolving -- revolving fund programs with special emphasis on the investigative services program because of the national security implications. please be assured, even with bare resources, that because of recent developments discussed in my written testimony, we eel compelled to involve our office in a joint investigation and audit to thoroughly vet the policies and procedures and quality review practices of the federal program. i am pleased to say with -- that with jon barry, they have used -- included a legislative proposal in the fiscal year 201
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5 budget that would grant us access to the fund. i close by asking for you -- your committee's support of the proposal so our office will finally have the resources to do the job with which we have been entrusted. thank you. >> thank you, patrick. >> chairman tester, ranking member portman, ranking member johnson, thank you very much for the opportunity to test today regarding o.p.m.'s role screarns eral process. in the enactment of the intelligence reform and terrorism proceed vention act, o.p.m. has continued to enhance the background investigation process by enhancing timeliness, efficiency and more the our successes are due to -- in part to partnerships with
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other agencies that require security clearances. we have no back logs, are meeting timeliness mandates and have increased automation. o.p.m. conducts security hiring s to support and more the the processes are highly integrated, automated nd measured against timeliness standards. the performance data for these are largely reported to o.d. and i, executive branch agencies, o.m.b. and congress. these products and services are then utilized adds a basis for king suitability decisions and credentialing decisions. security onal
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clearances since 2005 have been removed from the high risk list and o.p.m. manages and oversees the federal employees and contractors responsible for conducting investigations. now, pursuant to executive n.i. is 67, the o.d. responsible for directing the oversight investigations and determinations and for determining and developing uniform policies and procedures to assure timely, effective completion of clearances and determination of eligibility to have access to sensitive information. agency heads apply uniform add d i indicative -- adjucative guidelines which were amended
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by president bush. i.s. provides background investigations with 10,000 submitting offices worldwide. we have more than 6,700 contractors and they help form a network of field investigators, support staff and a cadre of federal agents we have working abroad. o.p.m. manages a balanced nationwide and federal and contract workforce. our core federal investigators present us the opportunity to manage high hi sensitive and inherently governmental investigation requirements, while our contractor workforce permits us to expand and contract operations as the worklode and locations dictate. information technology has been and will continue to be crucial
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to support us in balancing our timeliness goals. it plays a role in streamlining costs, improving operations, eliminating waist -- waste and providing better service for the ogses -- agencies that require these investigations. in addition we consult with security agencies kerping new policies and programs, to ensure government-wide reciprocity and more. security clearance suitability process reform has provided program enhancement particularly in the timeliness of products and policies. the enhancements do -- to date have strengthened the government's ability to recruit top talent and to put top people to work. lastly, working with other federal agencies to establish and implement training
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standards and processes and develop reciprocity standards and metrics to im -- gauge improvents and demonstrate savings. i thank you for the opportunity to be here today to discuss this important issue and would be happy to respond to any questions. >> thank you for your testimony. mr. lewis, you may 3r0e789 >> thank you, good afternoon. chairmen and members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. steve lewis, the deputy director of the committee on oversite. we appreciate the committee's continued interest in the effectiveness of the security clearance process. because of your commitment to this critical function of our government and its ability to protect national security we've achieved major improvements over the years and look forward to even more gains in the
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future. i'm here today on behalf of dr. michael vickers, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and would also like to introduce mr. stan simms, the director of the defense security service, who is with us stood. the undersecretary for defense intelligence is the principal staff isn't to the secretary and deputy secretary for security matters and responsible for setting overall d.o.d. policy to implement national policies for access to and the protection of national classified national security information the in addition he is the senior official for the d.o.d. personnel security program and has responsibility for the policies and procedures governor ofening civil yarn and military programs. an executive order designates e director of national
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intelligence to develop uniform policies and procedures for effectiveness in determining eligibility for access so classified information as well as acceptance of those on a ress i okal basis across the government. with regard to the oversight roles and responsibilities within d.o.d., the heads of d.o.d. components are responsible for establishing and overseeing implementation and procedures to ensure protection of classified information and taking prompt and appropriate management action in cases of compromise. such actions are necessary to focus on correcting or eliminating the conditions that caused, contributed to or brought about the incident. this responsibility encompasses military service members, d.o.d. civilians and embedded contractor personnel. under the national industrial security program the defense
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security service is responsible for conducting oversight of companies cleared to perform on classified contracts for d.o.d. and 26 other federal agencies which use d.o.d. industrial security services. the department has instituted various process improvements that have resulted in greater effectiveness ith regard to initiating and adjudicating background investigations and this has resulted in the removal of d.o.d. from the high-risk list for the security program. we have developed systems to ensure products and highly a -- personnel and
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adjucators and this helps to ensure appropriate oversight and reciprocity. in october 2012, d.o.d. consolidated its rory sabbatinis to realize efficiencies and standardized practices of this critically and inherently governmental function. i specifically asked for the costs of obtaining security clearances for the department. in fiscal year 2012 d.o.d. paid the office of personnel management a total of $753 million for security clearance investigations and approximately $471 million for military service members, $30 million for d.o.d. civilians and $252 million for cleared
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industry. thank you for your time. >> thank you for your testimony, mr. lewis. you may proceed. >> chairman tester, mccaskill, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to be here today to discuss the government-wide personnel security process. as you know we have an extensive body of work on the process dating back several decades. since 2008 we have focused on the government-wide effort to reform the security clearance process. my statement today is issued on reports issued between 2008 and 2013 on d.o.d.'s personnel security clearance program and reform efforts. personnel security clearances allow government and contractor personnel to gain access to classified information that, through unauthorized disclosure eyre, can sometimes cause exceptionally grave damage to
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national security. as you -- as you know, a high number of security clearances continue to be processed. re than 4.9 million held clearances this year, making it a formidable challenge to decide who have have -- should have a clearance. my written statement addresses three areas for improvement to the process. the first is having a sound requirements determination in place. agencies need an effective process for determining whether positions require a security clearance process and if so at what level? underdesignating can lead to security risk, while overdesignating can also result in security risk and also significant cost implications. last year we found guidelines to help determine approximate, but importantly no requirement exists to review agencies with
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clearances. we made recommendations to develop such guidance. the sect part of my statement addresses having performance measures to measure quality. since the 1990's we have emphasized the need to build quality and quality metrics into the clearance process. executive branch efforts to reform the process have focused more so on timelyness than quality. we have seen results to speed up the processing of initial clearances, but we have not seen results to finish developing metrics for quality of investigations, implement those met rix db metrics or report on those metrics' findings. we have reason -- reason for concern about the quality of the investigations. indicated 9 g.a.o. the documentation was incomplete for most reports we reviewed. we have made recommendations in this area that -- but those
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recommendations have not been impleement -- implemented. the last area of my statement addresses efficiencies of the clearance process. government efforts have not yet focused on potential cost savings even though the stated mission includes improving cost sabrings. has not been studies for process fcheses core cost sirve -- savings the o. reported , g.a. o.p.m. received more than $1 billion to conduct investigations. we have made recommendations in this area but actions have still not been realized. this concludes my opening statement.
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i would be pleased to take questions. thank you very much. ? thank you for your statement, ms. farrell. we will put seven minutes on the clock and go from year. i'm going to start with you, mr. mcfarland, without making any specific statements that could compromise the ongoing investigation, could you confirm that the office of the inspector general is currently investigating usis, one of the three major contractors conducting background checks on behalf of the u.s. government? >> we are. >> can you also confirm that usis carried out the background investigation on mr. snowden? >> i'm sorry? >> could you also confirm that usis carried out the background nvestigation on mr. snowden? >> well, i'm not sure regarding that question. >> is -- it's my information
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that there was two, an initial investigation and a re -- >> i'm sorry. yes, the reinvestigation, absolutely. >> so they did do the reinvestigation? >> yes. >> but you're not sure who did the initial investigation? >> that's correct. >> would it be possible to get that information? >> yes, it is. >> ok, good. >> are there any concerns that mr. snowden's background investigation by u south africa. s -- usis may not have been carried out in an appropriate or throw manner? >> yes, we do believe that there may be some problems. >> and when more information gets available on this i would assume it's going to be made public? is that correct? >> it will all depend on the time and the situation. but we'll do our best to keep you informed. >> ok. that's good. so let me ask you this. hey're under information, usis is under investigation but yet
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they're given the reinvestigation of mr. snowden? how does that really happen? > excuse me just a moment. >> if you would, please. >> absolutely. no, that's why they're here. yeah. 8 michelle, carry on the >> it is our understanding that the periodic investigation was done in 2011, which would have predated our investigation. >> when did you initiate your investigation of him? >> later in 2011. >> ok. yet this agency, i believe if i'm correct, they do about 65,
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total contracted out investigations? you said 75 -- i can look it up but 75% of the investigations are contracted out. is that not correct? >> that question is probably best answered by fis. i understand the number varies depending on whether you are talking about all investigate -- investigations or those which include significant field work. >> ok. >> usis conducts 45% of the overall contract work load. >> ok. very good. i'm going with you, mr. lewis and then i'll kick it over to senator mccaskill. i touched in my opening statement about how much classified data was being generated and maintained with an increasing number of folks with access to that data.
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d.o.d. currently accounts for a vast majority of the initial security clearances. since 9/11 heightened security has obviously drinken the increased number. make no mistake, i'm not chagging -- challenging that at all the what i am questioning is given the drawdown in afghanistan, do you anticipate that the d.o.d. security clearances are going to decrease in the future or maintain or get more? >> it's hard to have a crystal ball on that subject. one would think that as the drawdown occurs there would be less of a requirement for clearances and we are engaging with the military services and others to look at scrubbing the equirements for clearances and validating need more aggressively than we have in the past, but i can't predict
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what's going to happen with any degree of certainty with that drawdown. >> and understanding that the clearances are driven by need, by specific needs, is that scrubbing, is that what -- i mean is that what you are using to monitor or manage the number of overall clearances for the d.o.d.? or what kind of metrics are you using? or are there metrics to use? is it just need, get the clearance? >> we are looking at the number of clearances and engaging with the military services to val idate those needs. so we don't have metrics at this point on that issue >> ok. senator mccaskill? go ahead. >> have you read ms. farrell's testimony today in >> i just heard it for the first time. >> i'm not going to start now, but i would appreciate that you would read it and respond to it with specificity.
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it's overwhelming to me the amount of recommendations that have been made in this area that have been ignored by your agency. and i see no good reason why these recommendations have been ignored. if you want to address why the recommendations have been ignored now, you are welcome to. i have some other areas i want to ask you about also, but it appears to me, which is not the first time this has happened. i've spent a lot of time around g.a.o. reports and looking at recommendations and whether or not they are implemented and typically agencies is with the lowest oversight are the least likely to think that g.a.o. recommendations matder. >> we take what g.a.o. recommends through their aught -- audits very seriously. >> when's the last time you implemented one of them? >> we've implemented all this
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year, a number of, take the last audit, cost transparency. beef -- we've done a number of things to support cost transparency. we submitted our first stakeholder report, the first one, that details resources and talks specifically about where our money goes to support the program. >> if you would be so find -- kind, ms. farrell, to do a score card for us, list the recommendations g.a.o. has made in this area and give us a actual score as to how many of them have been implemented by them and when and i'll have a chance to share that with mr. miller and we can argue about that and get at that. how many times has the i.g. asked to try to audit the revolving fund that pays for all these background investigations in >> i don't have a number of times they've asked to audit but my understanding is we're
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very cooperate ib of actually having the i.g. audit. the issue was whether there was a legal basis for the dollars required to have the awedy. >> according to mr. mcfarland the documents don't exist to audit the fund. >> oh, there are lots of documents. >> so i need some kind of agreement as to why this fund's never been audited. it's $1 billion a year. it's outrage why it's never been audited. >> my understanding is o.p.m., we support, the current request by the o.i.g. for revolving fund dollars to support audits in the future. the issue in the past was there was not a legal basis apparently for revolving fund dollars to be given to the i.g. for audits the we welcome the over150eu79 >> well, these are all public dollars. >> they are public dollars.
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they're not appropriated. >> they were appropriated at some point. >> yes, ma'am, they were. >> because you can't get them unless they were appropriated. >> so all -- you're saying all someone in government has to do is give some of the money to another agency and presto, whammo, no audit? >> no, ma'am. >> well, you're saying there as some question as to whether there are -- the dollars had been given by another ogs -- agency the >> the issue was additional personnel to actually conduct the audit. they could have used appropriated dollars at any point to audit the revolving fund. >> let me see if i understand. scommits ur view, ms. and mr. mcfarland, as to why audits have not occurred. he seems to think it's the
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resources in >> we absolutely have the resources to do it. >> so what is your view of the reason the fund has never been audited? >> when you say the fund, you are speaking -- >> the revolving fund. >> the revolving fund. do you have any idea? ne maholm, please. -- one moment, please. >> this is a bit confusing, i think. but we, our intent as always is to get involved as deeply as we can in any subject matter. problem is that did, the problem that we have is that we couldn't identify --
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excuse me just a second, please. i want to give you as correct an answer as possible. >> my understanding, and this may be subject to later correction because audits is not my area, my understanding is that there were inmates in -- attempts in the late 1990's and there was insufficient documentation and since that time the o.i.g. has not had the financial resources to pay to do an awedy. >> ok. well, we need to get that figured out because if we are actually saying to the american people that there are not the resources available to audit a fund this holds a billion dollars of public money we've got real problems. so i'm going to need you to come up with the specific answer that you believe is holding you back from auditing this fund and i would need the same kind of specificity from you, mr. miller, as to your willingness and your capability of being audited. we know the department of
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defense can't be audited. we're working on that. it's been decades long that we're trying to get them audited. this seems to be -- to me to be fund reet -- discrete that ought to be as easy to audit as brushing your teeth the i'm going to talk before my time is up about the number of convictions for falsifications. you have 4 -- had 18 people convicted be for falsifying investigations. of those 11 were government employees, seven from contractors. it seems to me the number of convictions, this is since 2007, it seems high to me for an office as smalls is this is. do you believe you're catching most of the fraud, mr. mcfarland? or do you believe there is more? >> i believe there may be considerably more. i don't believe we've caught it all by any stretch the
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>> my time is up. i'll wait for my second round. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. one thing we've heard today which is disturbing is that we can't firm -- confirm the quality of mr. snowden's investigation and this leads to a brad -- broader question about whether the pressure that you all feel to speed up investigations and the backlog that occurs is leading to lower quality. and i'm wondering about whether you're measuring those metrics. you've been perhaps as i say, timeliness, i'm sure, pressed. 2009 g.a.o. assessed from a sample they had that 87% of investigative reports the d.o.d. adjudicators used to were learance decisions missing documentation.
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they subsequently recommended look at the standards. g.a.o. also notes that o.p.m. is delivering a tool similar to the rapid assessment of security evaluations. in your testimony, ms. farrell, you talked more about that and basically stated that o.p.m. continues to assess quality based on voluntary reporting from customer agencies. so i would just ask in light of what's happened and in light of this information from g.a.o. going back four years, mr. miller, how do you measure quality? >> senator, we have a number of ways we measure qual. -- quality. if i could address up front the 87% number, you probably saw o.p.m.'s response to that audit
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and there are challenges associated with capturing every element of a background investigation. let me just explain very quickly. an employment check was one of the areas where there was the highest number of elements missing in a background investigation. employers can or can choose not to cooperate with the government when we conduct a background investigation. i'm not saying federal agencies, i'm talking all kinds of commercial entities out there where individuals may have previously worked. one of the challenges is actually getting cooperation. if an employer either goes away, doesn't exist any longer or chooses not to provide information to the government, that information has to be documented in a report but you do not get that employment coverage required by the investigation. there's issues regarding the 87% involved subjects, subjected interviews that were not accomplished. many of those subjects had been
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deployed into a hospital aisle environment where investigators could not go to conduct those interviews and so there is a documentation in the report investigation saying the subject was not available due to deployment and that case is closed. senator, you are exactly right, every time we initiate an investigation we put what we refer to as a close date, a c.d. date because that date must be met to meted mandated 40-day challenge that we're given for timelyness. so all investigative leads must be accomplished in that period of time and the case is then closed. >> let's follow up on this a little bit. ms. farrell, jump in here but 87% is a high figure of incomplete reports and again, given that we're trying to protect some of our most valuable classified information and we've seen some of the impact of this recently, do you agree with that mr. miller just
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said? that the problem is employers on the private sector don't want to answer questions or that people have been deployed to hostile locations? >> the documentation was not in the files. we recognize that it may be challenging to track down people who may be deployed. we funed -- found the same types of incomplete documentation with d.o.d.'s adjudicateation files and recommended that where you have difficulties you document it so that the adjudicator or whoever comes by and does a review will know why that was left black the -- blank. >> so if the person was deployed, for instance, and that was the only reason there was an incomplete investigation that would not be port of -- part of 987%? if he simply had that documentation? >> if they had that documentation.
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the federal investigative guidelines like the federal we had our staff attends investigative training. we used educators to help us do these reviews to make sure that the staff have the competencies to see what was missing. >> and your recommendation was -- >> we have got quality procedures in our contracts for our contracts, as well as are federal employees. there are several stages of review that occurs when a background investigation is being worked. the contract there are a number of requirements for them to conduct a full quality review.
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, thereeral investigators is a review conducted. we have 400 room -- 400 employees whose sole role is quality assurance of our investigation. the most important review, the adjudicated mid decision made by the agency itself read a review the investigation to make a determination whether all elements were there. they can make a decision. running a deviation, meaning there are evidence there. they determine to grant that people -- person federal employment. >> are you and -- are you providing these metrics so that
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when they look at your process the next time, time, they are going to be able to know why somebody was provided all the information? >> we have not provided any follow-up. we would welcome a follow-up on that. to address the quality standards. that is working on establishing a clear and concise standards for evaluating the background. quality is in the eye of the beholder. depending on the adjudicator whether it is complete, whether it is not. there is a lot of gray area that i advocated in standing up this group that may give us the fine roles. give us quality standards that are clear. we will absolutely meet those. thank you for
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your testimony. >> what does it mean place close -- case closed? >> all of the elements have been obtained and completed and passed on to the customer. >> or you have not gotten all of them. >> if they are not obtainable like the employment share, that will be documented in the report investigation. it will be closed. >> how many of those investigations are adjudicated? >> our numbers on metrics, we look at the engagement for a request to reopen. when a customer comes back to us and says you're missing elements, there is things we do
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not have here, we're asking you to reopen that. >> will present you get back? >> less than one percent. >> do you know how many are ranted >> no sir. >> considered case closed come only one percent get kicked back. that is probably what is happening right? something is disturbing in her testimony, there is no guidance in terms of what is required for security clearance being granted. >> as correct. that responsibility falls in and the director of national
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intelligence. oversightossible for of this security area by providing guidance regarding efficiencies, effectiveness, and timeliness. >> there is no standard for requesting a security clearance? under draft.ce is >> there is literally no standard for what circumstances -- nine? >> you are correct. it is left up to the agencies to determine how they are going to classify those jobs, and what you find is a consistency. we found that some of the agencies were using an otm tool that helps determine the sensitivity of a job position. the sensitivity of the position doesn't tell you the classification, but by knowing the sensitivity, you can
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translate that into whether or not a security clearance is needed. unfortunately, the tool that many of the agencies were using was geared more towards determining sensitivity related to suitability for the job, rather than the job requiring security clearance. they developed the tool without a lot of collaboration with od and nine. that's how you got the till. >> does anyone want to challenge this in terms of no standard, no guidance? help me out here. >> they did create a position that was focused on suitability and determining what type of investigation is required for the position they are asking for. >> is there a guidance and standard? >> the key focuses on what level
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of access is required to perform the duties associated with the job rate is going to depend on what those duties are, and for industry it is very carefully crutinized. with in dod, it is going to depend on what level of access is determined to be required to perform duties. >> some guidance? so we have classifications of secrecy levels. if your job disruptions as you need in a class on occasion, is that a guidance? >> a guidance is not exist is am telling you for government wide determination whether a civilian position needs a clearance. you will find the individual agencies that have developed their own rules or procedures, and what we have found from our audit last year was an inconsistency of the application.
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the reviewed use of the opm position that mr. miller mentioned, and found with their review that for the majority of the cases we reviewed, they came up with a different determination. quite alarming. forecurity clearance individuals, we also the contract and facilities. you also are certifying contractors to handle classified material. is that correct? can you just step me through an investigation of the contractor facility versus an individual? >> for an individual, not for facility, i would ask if you can handle that one. for investigator, for investigations of a contractor, there is a determination that they need a clearance.
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it is sponsored by dod. the department of defense, they submit the individual. lex i'm more interested facilities right now. , ifnt to find out how often the certification is granted, are they surveillance is question mark that is the question with the most recent incident. >> i would like to defer to mr. sims on that. >> thank you. [inaudible] >> i oversee the defense .ontract for facility -- facility clearances are a is a requirement to read if the
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contractor is operating on a contract that requires a certain level of clearance, a secret or top secret, they submit those requirements to dss. it is possibly a government. we look at the facility in the look of the contract. if there are content requires there is a secret clearance, we evaluate the facility. and then we grant facility clearance first. was the contractor gets facility clearance, that covers the level access a contractor would have in working on that contract. for example, if there is a level of effort of how many are required to perform in the government contract. that facility clearances at the secret level. that is only the level that the access of the individual can apply for. we audit or the security reviews on routine basis is --
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macy's -- that we oversee. we look at those and we review. for example, if we find that they have a person that is the top secret, trying to work on a secret contract, we mandate the lower enough for removal. >> how many man-hours does the first certification process take? how many is involved in a surveillance audit. i'm trying to get some sort of how rigorous the certification is. >> it depends on the size of the facility. they are all away from mom and
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pops, -- >> is the daylong process? >> it could be a day or two. for larger companies, it could take up to 2-3 weeks on-site with a team of security professionals from my agency. >> thank you very much. >> this'll be a question for you mr. miller miller. the testimony goes like this. the problem is that patrick mcfarland's office has oig oversight are not presented. the follow-up on that question, this to be an dollar fund, somebody is made a call that none of that money can be used for things like annual financial audits, or any basic oversight.
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who made that call? >> i cannot answer that. .> i can speak to that the mostbeen frustrating and that has happened regarding the fund for us. it is literally taken it out of the picture. i have a limited amount of money for expenses. is stayve tried to do .uned into what is going on
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in the general counsel's office, and supported by the director of opm that we do not fix into the category that would allow us to have funds from the revolving fund. what has transpired him if i may, in order to try and remedy the situation, i suggested a couple of years ago that the suspension that may be the director of opm should suspend his decision in agreement with general counsel's office that we are not entitled to those
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funds. then maybe go for a comptroller general's opinion if we had to. >> i got a notion that is going to be a question that is going to be asked right out of the gate. are you going to sport using some of those monies? -- an oversight. does the cost a for that by the fun that you are doing the audit on? >> everything we do for the health insurance and retirement life insurance is done out of those trust funds. >> --
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>> we are using our salary and expenses to do what we can in the revolving fund. >> when you do any other audits on any other funds, i assume you're getting pay out of those funds in your audited. are there any other that you are not able to get your cost reimbursed from wetjen mark --? that is why i need to know. the hearing is july 16. i've a question to follow up on. sure of the president of the united states, i'm not sure who is the sponsor will. there are different responsibilities and metrics, different everything.
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we shouldn't be surprised at all. where there are metrics, there -- does the buck stop in congress? should we be dictating what you should be doing, or should it be -- who should be doing this? when aere encouraged government structure was put in place by executive order back in 2008. the executive order established a performance accountability council to drive reform efforts towards effectiveness, efficiency, and keeping it going. -- the orderr
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established the director for national intelligence as the security agents. it's established the otm as the executive agent. >> very quickly. should i be concerned about this? i'm concerned there is no apparent metrics or standards. >> there are standards. >> but they have very between each agency. there is no reciprocity.
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the standards go from soup to nuts. >> there's been a great deal of effort under the performance accountability council to align standards, and get consistency across federal agencies. --and we been successful have we been successful? what we've been better. there still work to do. [inaudible] what kind of processes are in place as to the investigations that that person was responsible for? >> the federal investigators had integrity service process in place, which is how most of
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these are detected. when they suspect that falsification is occurring, they do what they call a recovery effort, which is to identify the scope that they believe the falsifications may have occurred within, and then they have a federally employed investigator go back and redo every investigation assigned to that person. both to make sure that a quality product replaces the possibly defective product, and to fortify what is falsified the criminal investigation and potential prosecution. >> are the access to -- for the people who were in the parameters of the investigation around these criminal convictions for falsification, i assume that they are accessed to highly classified materials is done. >> the individuals who will the security clearance?
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are notowledge, they affected. >> is that true? they are allowed to keep their classification even though you have discovered that during the course there clearance was given, someone was falsifying? >> that is correct. the recovery process that was just mentioned is top priority. our integrity assurance program is how these falsifications are uncovered. >> by content letters? >> that is one of the processes. a month of all investigations receive recontact activity. that is for every agent we have employed. there isn't any agent that some recontact
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activity on their investigation. >> teaming government employee or contractor. >> yes-man. , ud recontactnt letters to confirm they have been interviewed. >> yes-man. ma'am. if the individual we have contacted was the individual that was falsified, the responses they were never spoken to by opm. >> what if the person making the falsification also fight the person they contacted? makes up the it is them, and puts down a phone number that is a phone number they have access to, or an address they have access to, and they get the letter and say they contacted me, when the whole thing was made up? an interesting scenario.
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we know where our agents reside. we know where -- >> are some po box question mark >> some are. i would just -- i know your background. i know you are true and true. it worries me that we have this criminal falsifications. there are people employed by contractors that are not doing the work, and you're catching them. sometimes. --re is a not you are lot there is a lot you are not catching. i would not be stupid enough to put down the name and the address who was going to be contacting me. i will put down a name and address rightly control the receipt of that document and handle it. >> one of the challenges for that scenario is that when they felt the rest, they identify references to the identify we are investigating.
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we are actually contacting people that the individual being investigated has referred us to speak to. keep that help problem from occurring. you given any thought to shutting up the classification? >> there's been some discussion about that. we have gone back and reviewed the handout that mr. mcfarland put out that talks about the level of investigation that was involved. >> i think you should, since these are potentially falsify, i enterwe should consider
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the falsification that you would suspend clearance center early for any of the people that could be impacted by the falsification. it would be easy for us to have a disaster in that area? paying for about these by contractors. 250 million would pay just for security clearance for contractors. are the contractors being asked identify the separately in order have cost delineated in their contracts, or do they absorb in their contract price?
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[inaudible] >> the cost for funding in the industry. 12. is what that was for fy >> if we are doing this for the contractors, which i question, it seems to me that this would be something that they should pay for they want to do business with the government. they should be there... hours. assuming we are paying for, why are we paying the premium for those that already have it. we are paying for it twice. for get asked her money having employees that have a clearance. not only are we paying to give in, we are paying them a second time. lex i see your point. -- >> i see your point. i can address your point.
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what is the most cost-effective way to pay for security clearance, and the analysis shows that if we were to allow the contractors to build that into the contract for the cost of those clearances, then they would add overhead on their management of that. the most cost-effective way was to manage it from the department. >> that make some sense. it doesn't make sense that we pay them for it. we did in the first place. -- ess the contractor that is a good deal you can get it. it's like our contractors are getting it. i would like you to get back to the committee with why you can not seasons and desist -- cease- and-desist paying a contract. >> maybe i'm confused.
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we pay opm $250 million for contractor clearances on government contracts. those funds go to opm. lex i understand pretty well i'm talking about is that public dollars are being used to provide clearances for private contractors. the government are providing contracts. i know the area defense contracting, you get a premium on your contract if the people who are working on your contract have clearance. that is what is irritating me. they are getting a premium for something that the taxpayers provided them. it would be one thing if they were given a premium for something they had paid for, but they are not. they're getting the premium for something that we pay for. that seems dumb to me. that's why i would like to figure out why we're doing that. >> if i could add in there that
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that is an issue we have to address with the acquisition community, and we will be happy to come back with you with more information. >> i would love that. it is a make any sense that we would do that. >> i'm out of time. >> what measures are safeguards are in place to monitor the personality of dod pravin contractors with their security clearances? theiryou're talking about day-to-day access to classified information, for contractors, dss is oversight. from the standpoint of a military service member, or a dod civilian, that is the responsibility of the component to establish a program to monitor and conduct oversight.
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there is a dod program manual which establishes criteria for not only how class by material is to be protected, but how issues of security concern that need to be reported if there is a concern about an employee. >> can you tell us with the biggest qualifiers are question mark >> it has been for financial issues, and individuals who have been involved in criminal activity. >> ok. how many clearances have been revoked in the last year or two? >> i would to come back to you with those. >> in the previous question, uses was under investigation
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since late 2011. did i hear that correct? >> yes sir. >> they are still under investigation now? how long do these take? >> complicated cases typical take several years. >> during that time there is no -- there business goes on as usual even if they are under investigation? >> it depends on the investigation. we have been of but we have been investigating since the beginning. >> was the investigation about? >> since it is ongoing, i really don't want to risk jeopardizing. >> i do not want you to. uses int to get out terms of not only do they have the big contract to actually do the background checks, they have this program supports.
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you couldn't tell the contractors from the employees. a redoing the same functions. they were sitting at the same desks. a mother contractor, one was another. partly was because they were easier to get rid of if you hire the contractors. easier to get rid of the contractors. -- what is that question mark one of our primary support contracts bring we provide a background to the cost associated with. our front-end operations a number of routine activities
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that has to conduct read much of it is manual based on the way that the records come to us a paper stop. there is -- we have 999 personnel that work the front in operation for us. that is everything from scope and the investigation, free, inputting the data, and ensuring the investigation gets distributed to our investigators in the field. >> we are paying uses $700 million a year to do macro checks. >> yes-man. are federalentage employees question my >> we oversight. 35% -- >> 35 our employees. >> yes. >> wire we playing -- wired
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paying contactors to hire people? -- why are we paying contractors to hire people? >> year-to-year, we see a decline in the contracts required for services. , itlso, based on the jobs is more financially beneficial for us to have contractors doing .hat work in bringing on >> how do you know they are cheaper? >> we will deal with cost- benefit analysis. >> it sound like you have not done one, but he said the are cheaper. >> how do you know that? >> we can contract our workforce quickly on the contract side. we can go ahead and downsize those requirements. >> 999 is downsize? lower than it was?
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>> yes. -- is -- i'm happy that would have to get that to you. it is over 1000. >> i what to do in here printable the numbers. i am tired of this assumption being made that contractors are cheaper. i have been at this for six years. i guarantee you that happy time, they have not and cheaper. i just think it is easier. many times, there been studies done that they are more expensive. i would like to take a hard look at that and make sure that it is the case. that was the last line of questioning. i want to covered -- i know all of you want to make this as good as possible. we don't have these hearings to make everyone feel awkward and comfortable. we have these hearings because we know oversight is needed in this area. i think all of you will acknowledge oversight. knoww that my friends
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that oversight is needed. i think even you all will acknowledge that this is an the area we have neglected oversight. a whole area of the government that most americans have no idea how this actually works. the more we dig in, the more we realize work is to be done. i appreciate all of your pirg -- public service. i know we have specific questions that we have asked, and i know the chairman may have .thers thank you. >> i want to close now. i want to thank all of you for being here. we have these hearings to try to get information to make things run better. i appreciate you giving us
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short notice. i know you are busy. oversight is critically important. that has been brought up several times today. the sharia the tropical metrics -- probable -- proper metrics -- making sure we have the proper metrics. what we're are talking about is intelligence of the nation. we have got a ways to go. have the kind of reciprocity in place, the metrics of place that will ensure intelligence stays solid even the folks inside the apartment. we look forward to working with you to constructively move forward. i want to thank you for your testimony. the record will remain open until july 8.
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with that, this hearing is adjourned. thank you all. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> coming up, house majority leader cantor discuss the farm bill. after that, house minority >> cominglosi reacts. up, james lacy defense analysts on the situation in afghanistan and syria. then i look at president obama's
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recent trip to europe. later, an examination on what drives unemployment in the u.s. washington journal is live every morning at 7:00 on c-span. nsa dataussion on the collection programs. they're looking at the legal legislative and technical aspects of the program. you can see it live starting at noon on c-span. >> first ladies have the capacity for personifying if they so choose. this a pattern in american women and politics. this is two things. they are real people who
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actually do things. then there is this secondary capacity of being a personified figure, a charismatic figure. i think many a first lady has come a first lady and realize this thing was larger than life. that was something dolly figured out. she becomes a figurehead for her husband's administration. she makes the white house into a symbol. she fosters the capital city. all this is happening in 18 away. in 1814, the british are going to bring the capital city. all of this work she put into help the public identify with this house they called the white house is going to pay off. it is going to be a surge of nationalism around the war. >> our focus on first ladies continues every monday night. why we study first ladies, monday night at 9:00.
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senator jeff sessions express concerns with president obama's speech in berlin. calling on reductions in -- with russia. you can see this in its entirety on our website. here is what he said. >> i was particularly uneasy about the president announcing in berlin, the president said this. today i'm announcing additional steps forward after a comprehensive review of determining -- we can assure the security of america and our allies and maintain a stronger deterrence while reducing our nuclear weapons by up to one third. i intend to seek negotiated cuts with russia to move beyond cold
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war nuclear postures. at the same time, we will work with our nato allies to speak -- and forge a new international framework for peace for nuclear power and reject the nuclear weaponization of north korea and iran. that is a big thing. 1500 weapons today. we've and reducing rap readily -- rather dramatically. now we are going to have another third reduced? it causes me concern. i believe it is going to cause congress concern. fundamentally, this is not ofven primarily by a goal
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reaching a level that is safe for americans. it seems to be driven by an ideological vision of the president of the world without nuclear weapons. george bush said we could get to 1000 nuclear weapons, and we can defend america, that is one thing. when you have a commander-in- chief who has repeated his goal is a world without nuclear weapons, and we have very ,ittle free analysis of this and announces a further reduction, i believe that has he stabilizing effects worldwide. i think it is likely to be misinterpreted worldwide. maybe it will -- i think it is a dangerous policy. i see no need for us to take that big reduction in our arsenal at this time. >> in the house, members
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rejected the $940 billion arm bill. democrats opposed cuts to the food stamp program and the 62 republicans who voted against the bill object defending the measure. we spoke to a capitol hill reporter about what happened. >> the farm bill -- why was it defeated? >> there are basically two reasons. that is there was a dairy amendment that was not ok with democrats, and that dairy amendment passed. also there were restrictions placed on food stamps and democrats did not like that, and there were a lot of republicans who thought they could somehow have a bill that would cut food stamps even more. >> eric cantor blamed democrats for not providing enough votes
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to help pass the bill. what do you think about his assertion? >> there were only 24 democrats who voted for the bill. i think it is a reflection of the deep gulf in the country between the people who get food stamps and the politicians who support them and the farmers who benefit from the farm program. since the 2010 election, you have had such a gap between these republicans and democrats. it is basically about that. >> how have democrats responded to what majority leader cantor said? >> they said they should not have put on this last amendment that would impose work requirements on food stamp beneficiaries, that there have never been such core requirements for it, and that was the straw that broke the camels back.
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also, there was an amendment on dairy that passed and the dairy farmers do not like it. >> who were the big losers? >> the people who are advocates for people eating more fruits and vegetables, for local production, for organic, because it is those programs that will least likely be continued. i think the food stamp program will be continued if there is an extension. so will the crop insurance program. but the big agriculture will be continued, but not the stuff for the newer, more innovative small and local programs. >> what is the next step for the bill? can it be revamped and passed? and the timetable? >> it can be brought up again, possibly changed. most thought it would get through when it got through conference. people were too angry, but also
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there were these 62 republicans who voted against the bill even though they got a lot of amendments on that that they liked. and a lot of provisions, and they will also have to reevaluate their views on the bill. >> what will you watch for as the leaders decide what to do next? >> whether they will bring the bill up and if and also over the fourth of july break, whether there are people who want this bill passed so much that they put pressure on members when they go home and they make some concessions and bring it up again after the fourth of july recess. >> jerry hagstrom is the contributing editor at "national journal." thank you. >> eric cantor came to the floor to discuss the schedule this week. minority representative hoyer
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responded to the remarks. this exchange is 25 minutes. >> mr. speaker, no votes are expected. the votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on wednesday and thursday, the housel meet at 10 a.m. morning hour. the last vote is expected no later than 3 p.m. the house will consider bills on the suspension of rules, a complete list of which will be enclosed. the house will take up and have two bills on the resource committee. the offshore energy and jobs at offered by the chairman, and hr
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1613, the continental shelf transboundary authorization act sponsored by representative jeff duncan of south carolina. the bill continue our efforts to increase to foster environment and economic growth and lower energy costs for working families. finally, i anticipate bringing to the floor the agricultural appropriations bill. i yield back. >> i think the gentleman for his comments. i would ask him a couple of questions not on the announcement. the gentleman spoke last week about student loans. no action on those is on the calendar for next week, if i am correct. can the gentleman tommy, knowing as we know, the student loan
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rates will double in july from 3.4% to 6.8%. can the gentleman tell me whether there is any thought that there will be some action taken by us prior to the july 4 break? i yield. >> the gentleman knows the house has acted. the position of the house is one very close to where the present public position on student loans has been. we do not want to see student loan rates double. we also want long-term solution to the problem on the fiscal and, while helping students. while the gentleman witnesses what just happened on the floor, it seems on bills where there are solutions and bipartisan indications of support, there seems to be a decision about his
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leadership, perhaps himself, to say, we will not go along with bipartisan work and success and just make this a partisan issue. i am fearful the same is on the student loans. i hope that is not the case. i know the gentleman shares with me a desire not to allow students to be put in a position to phase a doubling of interest rates if they decide to incur additional student loans. i would say to the gentleman, his question. we would stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion. the senate does not seem to be able to produce anything. the house produces something very close to what the president's position is to make student rates variable to allow for the rates to be cap so the exposure is not what it would be otherwise. unfortunately, no movement yet.
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we stand ready to work, though. i yield back. >> i think the german for his comments. i was not going to mention what happened on the floor today but the gentleman brought it up. the gentleman is correct. the committee passed a bipartisan bill. the democrats voted for the bill. the problem is that 62 republicans voted against the bill, as it was amended, notwithstanding the fact they voted for the last amendment that was adopted, which we think was an amendment that would have heard the citizens in our country very badly. we turned a bipartisan bill into a partisan bill. i will tell my friend very frankly, you did the same thing, your side of the aisle, did the same thing with respect to the homeland security bill, which was reported out on a voice vote from the appropriations committee, that we would have voted for on a bipartisan basis,
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except an amendment was adopted knowing our side could not vote for that. i will tell you i was not going to bring up what happened today, but you turned a bipartisan bill necessary for our farmers, necessary or our consumers, necessary for the people of america that many of us would have supported and you turned it into a partisan bill. very frankly, 58 of the 62 republicans voted against your bill voted for the last amendment, which made the bill even more egregious. we disagreed with a $20 billion cut, and your side upped the ante. i will tell you, we are prepared to work in a bipartisan fashion, and with respect the student loan bill, it was close to the president's bill, and we would
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have supported it had it been closer to the president's bill. what your bill did it puts those taking out student loans at risk of having their interest rates substantially increased in the future. the president suggested let's get a variable rate which reflects market rates, but when you take out the loan, just like you did with your house loan, you know what your interest rate will be. we have a difference on that. it is a good-faith disagreement on that. we will say that, yes, i have been concerned about the inability to take a bill reported out of committee that is bipartisan in a nature and turned it into a partisan bill. that is what happened on the floor today. it was unfortunate for farmers, consumers, for our country. if the gentleman wants to pursue
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that, i will yield to him. >> allow me to respond. the amendment to which the gentleman speaks is an amendment that had been discussed for some time with the ranking member, with the chairman, and the gentleman was aware of the amendment. the amendment reflects what many of us believe is a successful formula to apply to a program that has, in the eyes of the gao, in the eyes of the independent auditors who look at these programs, a program that is in dire need of improvement, because of the error rates that are occurring. in addition to that, it reflects our strong belief that work, that able-bodied people should have the opportunity and should
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go in and be a productive citizen. that is what this amendment says. it gives states an option. it was a positive project because it reflects a winning formula to the welfare reform program, back in 1996, that was put into place, with unequivocal success. able-bodied people going back to work. there was still an intention for our side to say we want to take away the safety net of the food stamp program. absolutely not. this is a pilot project. it was up to the states, whether they wanted to participate, to see if they could get more people back to work. again, consistent with what the gao report had said over and over again, these programs are in need of reform. it was not as if this commitment came out of thin air. the gentleman, the ranking member, the entire leadership on
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the minority side to the amendment was there. the gentleman is talking about regular order, talking about the need for us to have open process, let the will of the house work and be worked and then go to conference. that is what the goal was, that the will of the house allowed to be seen through, work its will, and go to conference and then we would try and participate in a robust discussion with the other side of the capitol to see if we can see reform measures on a bill that is in conference ready. what we saw today was a democratic leadership in the house that was insistent to undo years and years of bipartisan work on an issue like a farm bill and decide to make it a partisan issue. and, mr. speaker, it is
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unfortunate that that is the case, i do agree with the gentleman, but i hope we can see our way to working on other issues, where there is potential agreement. today was an example. the other side did not think that was there goal, an appropriate mission, and instead decided to emphasize where perhaps they differed when we wanted to reform it in a certain area. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. we have a profound disagreement. when we were in the majority we got no help on your side, mr. leader. we remember that. there was no opportunity to have
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bipartisan dialogue, to have agreement. the gentleman talks first to regular order. the person who talks about regular order most is your speaker. you talk about regular order. pass a bill and when we have an agreement. some 90 days ago we passed a budget. at your insistence, the senate passed a budget. we have not gone to conference, you have not provided an opportunity to go to conference, you have not appointed conferees. that is regular order. the gentleman evidently wants it on one bill, but not all bills. i tell my friend we want regular order, we want to go to conference. you want to undo the breaking of an agreement we made in the
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budget control act which said there won't be a firewall between domestic and defense. you have eliminated that firewall. the sequester is in place. sequester is bad for this country. the fact is there's no legislation to undo that sequester, except the legislation you talked about passing in the last congress, is dead and buried.
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yes, we want regular order. the reason the bill lost today is because 62 of your members rejected mr. lucas' plea, which i thought was eloquent, in which he said i know some of you do not think there is enough reform in this bill and some of you think there is too much reform. but mr. peterson and i brought out a bill that was a bipartisan bill, supported by the majority of democrats and the majority -- maybe all the republicans, maybe i am not sure that -- but the fact of the matter is it was a bipartisan bill, just as homeland security bill was bipartisan, and it was turned into a partisan bill. that is exactly what mr. lucas was talking about. he was saying some people do not think we went far enough and some people think we went too far. mr. sutherland thought we had not gone far enough.
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and 58 republicans voted for sutherland that turned around and voted against the bill, the reforms you're talking about. do not blame democrats for the lost today. you did not bring up the farm bill when it was reported out on a bipartisan basis last year. you did not even bring it to the fore because your party cannot come together supporting their chairman's bill. that is where we find ourselves. i was not going to bring up that bill at all. what happened happened. frankly, when we lost on the floor, it was because we lost on the floor when we were in the majority. we produced 218 votes for everything we put on this floor.
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do not blame democrats for the failure to bring 218 republicans to your bipartisan lucas- supported and peterson-supported piece of legislation on the floor. we believe that loss, that partisanship in that bill, will hurt farmers and our country. let's bring that bill back to the floor and have a vote on it. i think it would pass. maybe not because of your votes, that has been your problem all along. do not thank democrats for the loss of that bill. do not blame democrats for being partisan. you knew those amendments -- yes, we knew about them, mr. leader, as you knew about them and you knew we were very much opposed to those amendments, notwithstanding the fact that all the leadership, i believe, i have not looked at the record, voted for those amendments just as they voted for the king amendment on homeland security. yes, you pushed my button. i would am not prepared to work in a bipartisan fashion when it said this is what we agree on, meaning your side, though you better take it if we are going to have an agreement. that is not how it works. it never worked that way in america. that is not what america is about. america is about us expecting to be working together. this reported will was on an overwhelming basis, would have been passed on a large bipartisan vote, and was precluded by the actions taken through these amendments on the floor, most of which we did not support. and you knew -- i do not mean you -- your party -- so i'm surprised when you talk to me about regular order and there is nothing, nothing to do on the budget conference that you wanted the senate to pass a budget.
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they did. you had just told me that you wanted regular order and that we should have passed the farm bill so we could work together. you are assuming that the senate would have gone to the conference. i hope they would have, i think they would have, because i talked to the chair. we also want to go to conference in regular order on the budget to solve the stark differences between the two parties. that is the only way you will get to where we need to be -- by having a conference and trying to come to an agreement. my premise is that you do not have a conference because there's nothing to which patty murray could agree that mr. ryan had agreed to and that he could bring back your caucus and get a majority of votes for, because they are for what you passed and nothing more than that. they are $91 billion apart. if we divide it in two, split the difference, you could not pass it on your side and i think you know that. i do not know if i have any more questions, and i do not know if they could be particularly useful. i yield to my friend. >> as far as the budget conference is concerned, the budget is something that traditionally, as he notes, has been a partisan affair. it is a document that each house
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produces reflecting the philosophy of the majority of those bodies. and the budget contains a lot of different issues, two of which the parties have disagreed vehemently on over the last several years, taxes and health care. we understand you, mr. speaker, that the other side projects our prescription on how to fix the deficit in terms of the unfunded liabilities on the health care programs. we said we want to work toward a balance, we think a balance budget is a good thing. unfortunately, the position on the other side of the capitol is no balance, no balance, and raise taxes. when you know that is a situation, there's no construct in which to even begin a discussion.
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again, the budget has traditionally been that, a partisan document whether who is in charge of which house. and then to be a guide by which you go about spending bills after that. the farm bill, my friend, is a little different. it is for working farmers, for individuals who need the benefit of the food stamp program. we believe you need to reform the snap program and reduce some of the costs because even the gao, independent auditors we bring in, year in and year out say that program is rife with error rates that we should be ashamed of.
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so we put forward our idea to the sutherland amendment to try to reform, put in place those reforms. but it still, in the construct of the farm bill, again to the gentleman's point, we want to work together, but it is going to have to be about setting aside differences, and instead of saying, as the minority leader did today, you disagreed with that program, we are out of here, and entire farm bill does not have a chance to go to conference, be reconciled, hopefully reforms adopted so we can make some progress according to what the independent analysts say should be done. it really is a disappointing day. i think the minority has been a disappointing player today, mr. speaker, on the part of the people.
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but we remain ready to work with the gentleman. i am hopeful that tomorrow, perhaps next week, will be a better week. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding back. mr. speaker, the majority leader continues to want to blame the democrats for his inability and the republicans inability to give a majority vote to their own bill. maybe the american people think they can be fooled. you are in charge of the house. you have 234 members. 62 of your members voted against your bill. that is why it failed. we did not whine when we were in charge about we did not pass a bill. we got 218 votes for our bill that was pretty tough. we got zero from your side. you got 24 from our side to help you. mr. peterson stuck to his deal. on the budget you say we have got different philosophies. yes, we do. mr. gingrich gave a speech on this floor about different philosophies, 1997 or 1998.
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he was talking about the perfectionist caucus. he made an agreement with president clinton which to some degree was responsible for having balanced budgets. but your side, it was not a good deal. not on your side. -- not all of your side. on a bipartisan vote, we passed that deal that was reached between mr. gingrich and mr. clinton. a lot of your folks said our way
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or the highway, and he gave a speech call the perfectionist caucus speech. that is what in my view i am hearing on the budget. yes, we have differences. the american people elected a democratic president, they elected a democratic senate, a republican house. the only way america's board of directors will work if we compromise. the place to compromise under regular order is in a conference our ideas and their ideas meeting and conference. the most central document that we need to do every year is to do a budget. but you are not going to conference. your side will not support conferees. your side will not move to go to conference. patty murray wants to go to conference, senator reid wants to go to conference. your side over in the senate will not go to conference, in my view, largely because they know you do not want to go to conference, and they do not want to make a deal. they do not want to compromise
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on what their position is. so we will take no blame for the failure of the farm bill, none, zero. as much as you try to say it, you cannot get away from the statistic, 62, otherwise known as 25% of your party, voted against a bill among which is why we do not bring it to the floor last year when it was also reported out on a bipartisan fashion. so i know you will continue and your side will continue to blame us, that you cannot get the votes on your side, for your bill. you took a bipartisan bill, and that is what mr. lucas was saying. i thought he was very articulate, compelling, and pleading with your side, join us, join us. it does not go as far as it would like, and reform -- you talk about reform and that is a good thing to talk about, the senate bill has reform in it, mr. leader. the senate bill has reform in it. now, it is not in terms of dollars, cutting poor people as
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much as this bill does, but it cuts. it has reform in it. what sutherland wants, what apparently your side wants, is your reform, not a compromise reform. mr. lucas brought to the floor $20 billion and watched it as reform him and said on the floor, it may not be enough for some and maybe too much for others, but it is a compromise. he was right. but it was rejected by 25% of your party, and that is why this bill failed. unless the gentleman wants to say something, i yield back the balance of my time. i yield back the balance of my time. >> minority leader pelosi also spoke about the failure of the farm bill to pass at an
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afternoon conference, noting 62 republican members voted against the bill. this is 25 minutes. >> thank you for being here. of course, i am always sensitive to time and the clock is ticking on this republican congress with little to show for it. 169 days since the start of the 113th congress. 89 days -- tomorrow, 90 days, three months -- since the senate passed a budget bill. still, no jobs bill and no budget agreement. today, democrats are taking the following action. under leadership, our ranking member on the budget committee, a petition was filed of calling on the speaker to appoint budget come pre-. next week, democrats will appoint them to go to the table and reach an agreement. we call upon the speaker to join us in that. this is a step long overdue. 90 days overdue by tomorrow. ranking member van hollen has long called upon an open and fair debate on our priorities and solutions and proposed a budget that replaces the devastation of the sequester, promotes growth and creates jobs, investments in infrastructure and innovation,
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expands our economy and strengthens the middle class and responsibly reduces the deficit. cognizant van hollen has been our leader on budget issues and the -- always promoting a budget as a statement of our national values of fairness, and opportunity, while reducing the deficit. please yield to the distinguished gentleman. >> thank you, leader pelosi. leader pelosi and president obama have in calling for some time now for the house of representatives to get working on legislation that will help boost growth. we know the economy has been improving but we know it can improve much faster if congress would do its work.
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we are at two percent economic growth. because of things congress has done, like the sequester, we are slowing down economic growth in the country. the congressional budget office says economic growth this year will be one third less because of the sequester. which is why we have proposed a budget. senate democrats and the president of the united states have proposed budget that would replace the sequester with mechanisms that have achieved the same amount of long-term deficit reduction without the drag on the economy, without having to lose 750,000 american jobs just this calendar year alone. we are also seeing another tax from the sequester. the school system at the military base. it just reported the kids of our servicemen and women will miss
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five days of school this fall because the teachers of the school at that base will be furloughed. that is a disgrace. on the nondefense part of the budget, in places like the national institute of health, 700 very promising research proposals that will help find cures and treatments to diseases that plague every american family, will not be funded. these proposals have merit and they will not be funded because of the across-the-board cuts. you have very disruptive impacts in different parts of the economy. overall, we are seeing a big drag on the economy. that is why we have said we have got to remove the uncertainty and get on with passing a federal budget. as leader pelosi pointed out, the senate passed a budget 89
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days ago. i think everybody in this or am are members for the last three years, republicans have been asking for the senate to pass the budget. they have. now, speaker boehner refuses to take the next step, which is to go to a conference committee, even though the dutch it lost and they are supposed to have a complete action by the eighth. this house is grossly in violation of existing budget law, and even senator mccain said the republican position on this issue is insane and in comprehensible. he is not alone. other republicans have said the same thing. yesterday in the budget committee, during markup, the democrats once again asked that we go to conference. we proposed an amendment to legislation to go to conference. we were denied an opportunity to vote on that. today, under the leadership of
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leader pelosi, we filed a discharge petition calling upon the speaker to immediately go to conference so we can complete action on a federal budget to deal with these issues with respect to the economy and jobs. within a short time, we filed at 9:00 today, and have 175 signatures. all of you follow these issues, no that is a huge amount of time. we are calling on our republican colleagues who have said they want to complete action on a budget to join us and put their signatures where their voices are. and making sure we go on to conference to get the job done. i will end with this. we heard for months, four years, this mantra of, no budget, no pay. that is what republicans said. yet, not only are they in gross violation of the budget law, they are still getting paid. we just want to call upon them to do what they want to do.
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get a budget so we can work on these issues that are important to the economy and accelerating economic growth right now. there is no reason to wait another day. >> thank you very much. congratulation on your great leadership day in and day out. especially, congratulations today. 175 people to sign up on the discharge petition. what does that mean? that house democrats, 175, in a matter of a few hours, signed on to a conference to go to a table in a bipartisan way with a fair and open process. it is not a discharge position about any particular issue, a vote for bipartisanship for transparency, forgetting the results in getting the job done so we can get on with growth and reduce the deficit in a way that reflects the country's values, adjust as the needs for our future. it is a pretty remarkable thing, 175. i know we will come back next week just in time for us to appoint and hope the speaker will join us. my view is that, from the beginning of this year, earlier on this year, and we have had this conversation before the senate passed the bill, republicans said -- sat in a room with the president and for leaders gathered with the vice
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president. they wanted regular order. that is the bill in the house and the senate. when the senate passed the bill three months from tomorrow [indiscernible] the american people want results. they want solutions. they want us to get on with making jobs. 169 days, this congress -- not one jobs bill. instead, they come up with a frivolous legislation, a nuisance amendment, and they cannot even pass priority on the floor. we would be pleased to take any questions you may have. >> a statement saying you guys had promised to them 40 votes and you yourself are the reason the farm bill went down today. did you promise them that 40 votes and pullback? >> absolutely not. they lost 62 of their own
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members. i use the word results. that is what the american people expect. when i talk to volunteers in my day, and the course of my career, they always say to keep it professional, and do what you say you will do to the best of your ability and you have to take responsibility. what is happening on the floor today is a demonstration -- they did not get results and they put the blame on somebody else. just interesting, because you know i love numbers, and counting votes, 62 republicans voted no on the bill today. there is almost no way to offset that. it is also important to note 58 republicans voted for a killer amendment, a sutherland amendment, which made further cuts in food stamps. 58 republicans voted for that, who voted no on the bill. in other words, why would you put an amendment there that will lose democratic votes, that will make the bill worse, when the people, you lost 62 votes on final passage, 58 of them needed the sutherland bill to cut further, and they did not stick with the leadership. is that not remarkable? isn't that remarkable?
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what was the purpose of the bill? to throw the weight around of those who wanted to take more food out of the mouths of babies? and, the speakers dedication to the dairy processors and farmers, and they lost votes when they prevailed. they put two seeds of their own destruction in the bill. the sutherland bill did not get them any votes. it lost 58. and the dairy piece. it is always interesting to me when people blame other people for their own failures. if we ever came to you when we had the majority and said we did not pass the bill because we did not get enough republican votes, it is silly. it is sad. it is juvenile. it is unprofessional. it is amateur hour. anyone else on the subject of the budget? >> let me put it plainly. if leader pelosi, speaker pelosi, this would never happen. speaker pelosi knew how to govern. she understood getting things done is the art of compromise. it is the art of bringing people together. it is pathetic the republican team would be trying to point fingers at others, when what you see is the latest inability and failure to govern.
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simple as that. the last time we passed a farm bill, it was under the leadership of speaker pelosi, who brought people together and made necessary compromises to get the job done. >> thank you for that. we had to overcome and override two vetoes to pass the bill. it was not a simple majority, tooting the horn of the house democrats. i never had any conversation about the votes. they knew if they lost 40 or 50 votes, it was not good for them. let me just say on that, i want to go back to what i said originally. this discharge position is to go to the table to compromise. to negotiate, to respect other peoples views and do so in an open open way, and respect our values. that is the beauty of it. let's go to the table and have a discussion. are they afraid of their own ideas? perhaps. and they have reason to. they do not even bring their own members to the table behind them on their positions. it is all about weaving a consensus, making compromises and the rest. when we had the majority, we passed the park -- the farm bill in a bipartisan way. it is hard. but you have to know what you are doing. yes, sir. >> speaking with farm bill, if i may. now it is somewhat unclear, would you favor some sort of extension of existing policy like last year, and what does this do in terms of the question for mr. van hollen, that the staff cuts the budget deal later in the year. do you know those negotiations, the farm bill can be done, [indiscernible] >> people have the revoke of the spot -- the response. we want to have a farm bill and go to the table to negotiate the farm bill with the senate bill that was passed a while back. it was a vastly improved bill. they need more than a majority. they need over six of any 60 votes to pass a bill there. whether right now, we do not
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need anything to extend nutrition and the rest, because that does not require the passage of this bill at this time. from that standpoint, the nutrition program snapped the supplemental nutrition programs will continue. we do want a farm bill because we want to have the specialty props, the vegetables, the initiatives, food banks, and the rest of that. you cannot just keep cutting and cutting and cutting a new -- a program and expect people to swallow that. you are taking food out of the mouths of maybe 2 million families. under the bill. much less under the sutherland amendment. i would hope we have another bite at the apple so there would be a place for the bill to pass the house going forward. this is not something we would hope would improve, but at least a rejection of the further cuts. instead, members insisted on a further cut, and 58 of those people voted no on the bill. how do you figure. >> there is a direct link between what happened today and the farm bill and the house republicans refusal to go to conference on the budget. both represent a failure to
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govern. that is because in both cases, they got extreme members of the caucus who refused to compromise. when it came to the farm bill, they insisted on cutting even further food and nutrition benefits. when it comes to the budget, they also wanted dramatically to cut back on food and nutrition programs. they wanted to hit middle income taxpayers to protect tax rates for the very wealthy. that is what is preventing them from going to conference. they do not want to have the conversation in the light of day before the american public. with respect to provisions, yes, in the democratic budget and the budget presented by the president, we provide support for the programs. we believe that is important. we also believe we have the direct payments that go to a lot where there is agreement on the republican and democratic side, to those who have outlived their usefulness. we should press forward in the context of the government. >> [indiscernible] with republican house members, will they work to delay immigration reform?
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is there a chance immigration
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reform has been before the presidential council? >> i hope so. we are thinking weeks and months, not even into next year. very hopeful we can have bipartisan support for a comprehensive immigration reform bill. the seven members of the house, eight of them had been working together for a number of years. seven of them are going forward with a bipartisan proposal that
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is being written up into legislative language now. as i have said here before, it has poison hills but it is -- they are not legal. recognizing we all have to compromise and we all go forward with that. how congress works from here, the house in particular, you have heard different things from the speaker, that this rule or that rule or whatever, we are
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just hopeful the product is one that can track the most votes in a bipartisan way. it is essential for us to pack the bill. hopefully, we will see what happens in the senate by the end of next week. far be it for me, but my understanding is they will probably finish the bill by the end of next week eared when we come back in july, right now, we have the process going on in the house. the judiciary committee. it is along partisan lines. but, there is still is the bipartisan task force of seven proposal i think has tremendous merit and could be part of a package put together here. i think it will be long before the elections. the house will pass something. the house will pass something.
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they will go to conference with a senate bill. i would be hopefully could happen in the month of july. i think the speaker said this year. i am optimistic about an immigration bill passing. you had a question? >> back to the farm bill. if you want this to go to conference, why not rally before the democrats and move it along? >> we all want to but there is a certain responsibility to send the bill. it is not conducive to getting votes, to put $20 billion. it is about $20.5 billion in cuts in the house bill. by comparison, the senate, bipartisan, democratic and
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republican, has $4.5 billion. it is already $15 billion difference in the cut and what that means to america's families. in addition, the other amendments are harmful and make further cuts. if that is what they want, there are 58 people who wanted the 58 who wanted the cuts and voted against the bill. at some point, you are talking about dollars and cents and then you start talking about values. this was an assault on the values of the house democrats. having said that, there could be a path where we come back. there are enough members ready to support the bill that came out of committee, even though they did not like it, as long as it did not get worse on the floor. that was the responsibility of the majority. it is not the responsibility of us to say, discard what you believed and work for your whole life so republicans can use their votes to be more harmful to the american people. >> it was said today it was the fault of democrats. what is this? [indiscernible] to not take responsibility for what you are responsible for.
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>> this may get a little tiresome for all of you. doesn't it get tiresome when they do not take responsibility for the job we are sent here to do? what did he say we did not do now? >> [indiscernible] [laughter] that was the reason loan rates would double in a read -- in a week. are you frustrated? >> we just had a press conference, perhaps some of you were there. the zimmerman room, in between votes. we had students speak about what the difference in doubling the student loans would mean to them. on top of them, the republican proposal, which makes matters even worse.
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the difference of $1000 may not seem like much to some people around here, but it makes all the difference in the world as to whether these students can stay in college. as it, again, for clutch or years, and whatever they want to do as far as that isn't -- is concerned, it is a dealbreaker. some people do not have a place to go because they cannot consume that responsibility. it is very easy. all we have to do is support a bill that has, how many? 190? they have been working on it for about a week now. the legislation, which would keep the student rate loans the ame as it is now. we only have 11 days. 11 days until the student loans double. how often will we have to hear? take action here. then you have some standing to criticize what others have not done. and the action we need to take
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here is not to have a bill that will more than double the student bone -- loans, instead of doubling to 6.8, or to go beyond that. with that, we will be appointing people to go to the table to have transparency, bipartisanship, cooperation, a
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building of consensus on a budget that reflects our values, creates jobs, and reduces the deficit. you have to look at these names. i just cannot get over this. 58 republicans voted for an amendment that would sink the bill, and then voted against the bill. as if they needed it in order to vote for it. it is a stunning thing. why would you give people an amendment that will kill your bill and then blame it on someone else? 58. anyway, another day and the
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unproductive life of a republican congress, where they ring bills to the floor that are going nowhere and blame other people for their lack of success. another day in the amateur hour of the republican congress. thank you. >> coming up, james lacey on the situation in afghanistan and syria. then, a look at president obama's recent trip to europe. later, an examination of what drives employment in the u.s. with john woolford -- wohlford. >> friday, mitch mcconnell is that the american enterprise institute. here on c-span. a discussion on the nsa data collection program. the legal,oking at
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legislative, and technological aspects of the program. live on c-span. >> as we would ride north, they would write to davis. it looks like they had a chance. it had not been settled yet. it is just may. was bloody repulsed. this is our chance. , win ae hit them again victory that would bring the .dministration he would drop -- form a three- man commission that would negotiate with the lincoln government. he went north to settle it.
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>> the 150th anniversary of the battle of gettysburg, live all- day coverage from leesburg national military park sunday on american history tv on c- span three. >> senators corker and hoven introduced a an amendment to the immigration bill, requiring 20,000 additional border agents, including a 700 mile fast -- fans, and taking other steps before undocumented immigrants can get green cards. >> thank you. i rise today to discuss an amendment i will be introducing. the copperheads of immigration reform legislation the senate body is carefully considering and debating. that amendment is being moved in, border security amendment. it is being finalized. i plan to introduce it this afternoon, along with the senator from the great state of tennessee, who is here with me. i want to thank him for the tremendous work he has done on this legislation.
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he has been absolutely inspirational to work with, a great leader, and someone who is really working to do immigration reform the right way, to get a bipartisan solution that truly addresses the challenges we face with immigration reform, and to get it done the right way. in addition, other sponsors include senator john mccain, senator lindsey graham, senator marco rubio, senator dean heller, and others that are joining us on this legislation. a number of them will be down here to provide their comments, as well.
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i believe the first order of this this is to secure the border. i believe the first order of business for immigration reform is to secure the border. americans want immigration reform. there is no doubt. but they want us to get it right. that means first and foremost securing the border. president reagan and the congress ran a legalized status between three and 4 million illegal immigrants. it was to once and for all resolve the immigration problem. obviously, it did not. here we are today with more than 11 million illegal immigrants in this country. here we are today with a border that has still not been secured. ironically, it illegal immigrants continue to come into our country because we have not secured the border. at the same time, our immigration laws do not meet the
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needs of a modern day workforce for workers and a specialty in high demand areas. one of the strengths of the underlying bill, the legislation drafted by the gang of eight on a bipartisan basis, along with amendments only added in committee, one of the strengths is that it includes provisions that will help us with our workforce needs. these provisions were adopted from legislation that myself and other senators sponsored, like legislation led by the esteemed senator from texas, senator john cornyn, which would allow increased numbers of college graduates, stem science technology, engineering, and math, and other highly skilled, highly trained people who could stay in this country, people we need to help grow our economy, and to help create jobs. we also want people who can bring capital and job creating opportunities to come to our country.
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we also want people who can play create capital and opportunities to come to our country. the underlying bill has captured these concepts. the immigration legislation that i was proud to cosponsor is included in this bill. we are not done. we are not done. we must do more to store the border in this legislation. that is exactly what we are offering here today. it is a very straightforward way to secure our border, and to do so before allowing a pathway to legal permanent residency for those who came near you legally. furthermore, it will in sure that if we do not repeat the
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error we made before, failure to secure our border. it builds on what is already in the underlying bill, and provides objective verifiable standards to do so. our legislation will provide significantly more resources to secure the bar -- border. more technology. those resource must be fully deployed and operational before green card status is allowed. the legislation provides five specific conditions which must be met before anyone in our -- can be adjusted or transitions. these conditions are first. we are including a comprehensive southern border security plan right in the legislation. this is a $3.2 billion high-tech plan. the plan is detailed. water -- water sector by border sector. it includes helicopters, planes, and other physical surveillance
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equipment to secure the border. the plan also includes high-tech tools like mobile surveillance systems, seismic imaging, ground sensors, and unmanned systems equipped with cameras, and long- range thermal imaging cameras. the secretary of homeland security, and the secretary of defense, and the comptroller general of the u.s. must certify to the congress that this comprehensive southern border security strategy is deployed and operational. that is in place and operating. that is the first requirement before the adjustment. dhs must deploy and maintain 20,000 additional border patrol agents on the southern border. as in addition to the number of
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those on the border now. we will double the number of border patrol agent's to detect into rebecca those individuals who try to cross our borders illegally. third, dhs must build 700 miles of fencing. double the amount required in the underlying build. 700 miles of fencing that compares to 42 miles of fencing we have in place right now.
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the secretary of, security must verify that the mandatory e- verify system has been implemented to enforce workplace laws, so immigrants are not employed. the electronic entry exit identification system must be in place at all international airports and seaports in the united states, work customs and border protection officers are deployed.
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these are the requirements. these are the requirements, they must be met before law firm -- lawful residency is allowed. no green cards other than for dreamers and add workers until these requirements are met. once again, we must seek your the border first. basil americans demand. that is what we must do to get comprehensive immigration reform right. that is what this does. it does it with objective and verifiable methods. we ask her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join with us, and to pass this legislation. thank you madam president. i would like to turn to my distinguished colleagues from tennessee. i want to thank him for his tremendous work, which is ongoing. i can't say how much they appreciate his good efforts, and his good faith on bipartisan basis. i turn for his comments. >> i want to thank the senator from north dakota or his outstanding leadership. you would expect that from someone who served in such a distinguished way of governor of a state. he is doing an outstanding job on this issue.
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i want to thank him for being a great partner. i know we have work to do. the fact is, we still have to introduce this amendment. work is underway right now. i want to thank him, his staff camera -- his staff, for the way he is dug into this issue, solved the problems the americans are looking for, and working with us. thank you very much. i want to think the gang of eight for the they have done over the last multiple months to bring us to the place we are where we have opportunity to do some in the americans need. ensuring we have secured the border. one of my colleagues called this amendment -- there is a broad
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agreement about what the content of it is, and it is being vetted. some people are describing this as a border search. the fact is, we are investing resources in securing our borders that have never been invested before, doubling border patrol. the technology that he needs to have 100% awareness and to secure our borders. dealing with the exit program, e verify, so that all of these things are in place. i want to take the senator from texas who began the process of focusing on border security. his amendment earlier failed. i think what he helped us do is build momentum towards an amendment that is far stronger, and even better than his efforts at looking at a border security measure in this regard. i want to say, i'm of a person who speaks for a long time. at people understand that. the senator from north dakota
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has done an outstanding job of laying out the manning elements of this and then it will be voted on in the near future. i do think the american people have asked us if we asked him immigration bill, to do everything that we can to shore to ensure we have secured the border. dazzle people have asked for. -- that is what people have asked for. that is what this amendment does. i think this amendment has the ability to bring a bipartisan
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effort behind immigration reform that would go to the house. i do wish this amendment had other measures. i think that the house can include -- improve this. a conference can improve this. i hope that we have the opportunity down the road to see that occur. i want to thank all of our and crafting an amendment and the sensibilities on both sides, and securing our border in such a way that we can put this issue mostly behind us. we can have immigration system in our country that meets the needs of a growing economy, the biggest in the world, the focus is on making our country stronger, not weaker, and hopefully we'll put this debate behind us. i yield the floor. >> senate republicans and tea party activists held a press conference. the voice opposition to a compromise on border security. mike lee, jim sessions. this is 30 minutes. >> welcome. i thank you for joining us today. i am joined today by several of my colleagues, along with activists and concerned citizens from around the country who have feelings about this bill.
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the want to say at the outset that we are a nation of immigrants. we always have been. i hope we always will be. i look around the group, i suspect that most or all of us are either immigrants ourselves the more the descendents of immigrants. one of the reasons we have been in -- an attractive place for immigrants to call is that this is a great place to live. in order for that to be the case, the world's last test hope, we need to continue to stand by the rule of law. something interesting is happening in washington in recent weeks.
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we have had proponents of the gang of eight legislation suggesting that the world in washington right now the be divided into two hemispheres. between those people who have liked the idea of reforming immigration, like the idea of coming up with laws that are more realistic and modern, and are likely to treat our immigrant population with dignity and respect, and those who do not want any immigration reform at all. they suggest that those in the former category are uniformly willing to back the gang of eight proposal. that is not true. we -- we have in the proposal is a series of requirements, promises, many of which have proven false. we are promised in the same way we were in 1986 50 just legalize those who are here illegally right now, we will secure the border later. we will indeed the lima gray should once and for all. -- we will in illegal immigration once and for all. under this bill, if we pass this bill as it is written now, it is not going to happen now either. we have the given a number of promises for the qualifications for those who will legalize their status and become citizens. we been promised they will have to pay back taxes. when you read the fine print of
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the bill, it turns out that is not true. it is grossly misleading. they are required to pay taxes, but only those who have been assessed by the irs. if you been working off the books, you will not have anything assessed for the iressa. that is an illusionary one. when you look at the text of the bill, he makes clear that a lot of people, even people that felony offenses along the way, will end up citizens under this legislation. we have been told that this will secure the border. there is nothing in this legislation that make sure that that will happen. as a condition of opening the legalization and citizenship process. in short, this bill, and the promises surrounding it, are full of hollow and ultimately illusory assertions. we have concerns about this. we do believe that we can ring about broad-based immigration reform with bipartisan support. that needs to be done in a proper sequence.
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in each to be done in a step-by- step manner. i am addressing border security in one bill. another bill in visa modernization. bring our immigration code into the 21st century. one so things are in place, the border secure or, emily functioning exit system. then we can look at how to address those undocumented with justice. with that, i would like now to turn the floor to my friends and colleagues. >> thank you. now the time for the american people to have their voice heard, we are reaching a point, we'll be casting votes in the legislation. i think it is exceedingly
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important an invaluable that the tea party patriots today are heard on this issue. it is the american people sing these opportunities to communicate with their senators, to share with them their views about the need for a system immigration that serves the national interest of the united states, and makes life editor for working americans, not worse. it is not the kind of thing we ought to be doing. i am delighted to be here today. and to share these thoughts, and to hear from our guest. they are also here to share marks.

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